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‘Unpacking’ the Il/liberal in Contemporary Citizenship Policies, Notions, Practices and Education

Citizenship
Democracy
Populism
Global
Education
Mobilisation
National
Youth
S01
Frank Reichert
The University of Hong Kong
Nora Siklodi
Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim
Didem Cakmakli İşler
Antalya Bilim University

Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Citizenship


Abstract

Rising populism, heightened migration flows and nationalistic and tribalist framings of belonging have exerted immense pressure lately on what has been termed as the “liberal” features of citizenship – especially with regards to equal rights, senses of common duties and identity, accesses to legal status as well as popular input in political decisions. Nationalist and passive ideals of citizenship have narrowed the borders of global, post-national and rights motivated visions of citizenship. Indeed, more and more instances of protectionist, xenophobic and exclusionary ideals and practices seem to dictate politics and everyday elite and the public discourses across the world today. Formal and informal mechanisms of exclusion, including processes of denaturalisation and deportation as well as citizenship revocation, are on the rise. Even the denunciation of political ideas by citizens groups and a diminished expectation of political participation as well as the reinforcement of these processes through ‘echo chambers’ are becoming more and more common and less and less confronted. The exclusionary and nativist vision of citizenship has been framed as a reaction to the extreme liberal features of modern liberal democracies. This challenges mainstream readings of regional integration, the digitisation and globalisation of citizenship and, even, the institutionalisation of the first transnational citizenship in the European Union – all of which have together been hailed as the apparent shift towards multicultural, pluralist and inclusive notions of citizenship and democracy in the early 2000s. Scholars working on, for example, citizenship practices within the framework of nationalism in the context of Europe, populism and on the mobilising potential of the Internet and/or on de/colonialisation of citizenship in the broader North/South global divide, among others, have long been asking for a more critical reading of these developments. Their calls seem ever more potent today in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic where countries turned inward. This occurs in the broader context of the personalisation of politics and the apparent polarisation of citizenries, as well as the divide (and links) between on/offline citizenship – with an ever-rising influence of social media technologies and their distinctive contributions to these developments. Whether and how the liberal features of citizenship and democracy can be characterised against this backdrop, and whether and how these liberal features will resist changing ideals of and spaces for citizenship, is the main concern of our section. This includes the exploration of alternative ideals, actors (such as non-state actors), and spaces beyond the liberal/illiberal – national/transnational – inclusive/exclusive divides. We are also interested in shedding some light on innovative forms of citizenship, such as digital citizenship – what it is, how it challenges the role of established political institutions, and what skills digital citizens need and how these skills can be fostered. We wish to draw attention to the role of individual, state and different transnational actors who contribute to these processes, cross-cutting traditional and alternative spaces for the practice of citizenship in delineating spaces of belonging and in their pursuit of rights, for instance. We are also interested in studies which examine how education and civic education especially can provide us with effective tools for ‘learning’ citizenship among young people and help address 21st century globalisation and citizenship developments, especially in the prevalence of ever multicultural and in some cases polarised societies and digitisation. SG Citizenship is seeking panel proposals addressing contemporary citizenship and its links or lack thereof with the ‘liberal’ features of citizenship for the 2021 ECPR General Conference. We are especially interested in receiving panel proposals in, and would like to encourage contributions which bring together a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives on: - Il/liberal features (policies and/or practices) of citizenship and democracy – contemporary and past - Alternative ideals of citizenship – moving beyond the liberal/illiberal spectrum - Comparative citizenship policy analyses across different world regions - Norms of modern (liberal) citizenship as defined by elite and public discourses initiatives - Non/citizenship policies through which liberal features of citizenship might be re/defined (including religious traditions, for example) - Politicisation and popularisation of ‘liberal’ citizenship issues, such as notions and practices of belonging - The social, political, and legal aspects of contemporary citizenship - Public and elite attitudes and behaviours in/towards citizenship policies and structures - Citizenship as belonging: Narrowing or expanding on/offline spaces for citizenship practices - Citizenship and citizen participation in the context of globalisation and digitisation - Changes and practices in civic and citizenship education, including school curriculum - Educational governance of citizenship education, especially in the context of (de)radicalisation programs and securitisation of civic education - Challenges of reconciliation and peace education in polarised and divided societies - Citizenship and citizenship education policies, practices, and attitudes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Code Title Details
P052 Citizenship in the Digital Age: Implications and Consequences for Civic Education, Politics and Participation View Panel Details
P119 Do It Yourself – Youth Civic Participation and New Types of Action View Panel Details
P128 Engaging Authority: Citizenship and Political Community View Panel Details
P238 Liberal citizenship at a turning point? Assessing contemporary changes to citizen’s expectations, norms and agency View Panel Details
P307 Political Awareness, Engagement and Identity View Panel Details
P317 Political education and the young learner View Panel Details
P350 Reconciliation in democracies under stress: a need for new civic education approaches? View Panel Details
P351 Reconsidering Citizenship View Panel Details
P376 Sanctuary and Citizenship in Europe View Panel Details
P428 The pandemic and civic education: dangers and opportunities View Panel Details