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The Activation of Citizenship in Europe$
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Thomas Pfister

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083310

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083310.001.0001

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Conclusion: the activation of citizenship – transnationally negotiated

Conclusion: the activation of citizenship – transnationally negotiated

(p.91) 7 Conclusion: the activation of citizenship – transnationally negotiated
The Activation of Citizenship in Europe

Thomas Pfister

Manchester University Press

The first section of this concluding chapter demonstrates how changing practices of citizenship are entangled with the activation agenda. In particular, the paradigm’s increasing dominance implies new differentiated and individualised duties, a massive promise of access to societal resources, and only limited rights. Moreover, the activation agenda contributes to the broader trend to imagine citizens as rational individuals maximising their social capital and only linked by contractual relationships. This transformation also has crucial implications for the exclusionary element of citizenship. In however, citizens’ have very little chance to participate in the reforms and even less to participate in the surrounding conceptual debate. The second section argues that, in this context, the EEU can be seen as a specific process of political knowledge production where the concepts and conditions of adequate welfare policies and reforms – and thereby citizenship – have been negotiated in a transnational conceptual debate. Hence, the study points to an often-neglected dimension of politics: the politics of meaning making, which mostly precedes the formulation of actual policies. This politics has had negative outcomes with regard to the gender dimension of the transnational activation debate in the EU. Opening it to citizens’ participation and contestation would be a major step to promote equality and inclusive citizenship.

Keywords:   Activation paradigm, Conceptual debate, Politics of meaning-making, Citizenship, Rights, Duties, Participation, Access, Gender equality, Inequality

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