Responsibility, participation and choice are key policy framings of active citizenship, summoning the citizen to take on new roles in welfare state reform. This volume traces the emergence of new discourses and the ways in which they take up and rework struggles of social movements for greater independence, power and control. It explores the changing cultural and political inflections of active citizenship in Germany, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the UK, with ethnographic research complementing policy analysis. The editors then look across the volume to assess some of the tensions and contradictions arising in the turn to active citizenship. Two final chapters address the reworking of citizen/professional relationships and the remaking of public, private and personal responsibilities, with a particular focus on the contribution of feminist research and theory.
Janet Newman is professor of social policy and criminology at The Open University, UK.
Evelien Tonkens is professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam.