Civic engagement and political participation have undergone major changes over the past decades. Within political sociology, scholars have diagnosed decreasing numbers of “dutiful citizens” who limit their public engagement to voting and party membership, while a politics of protest and resistance by “critical” or “actualizing” citizens seems to have gained importance since the late 20th century. More recently, a third development of citizen engagement has been emphasized in the literature on citizenship, which focuses on various phenomena like creative or material participation, new forms of prefigurative lifestyle politics or socio-technical innovations. This third development becomes particularly visiblewithin the effort for social-ecological transformation: From the degrowth movement to urban gardens, from community-supported agriculture or repair cafés to web-based culture jamming or sharing initiatives, grassroots innovations aim to change local practices and production modes in order to prove the viability of alternative, “convivial” or sustainable ways of life. These developments still await further systematic empirical research as well as normative reflections evaluating new participatory practices from perspectives of critical social and political theories. Here, some crucial questions remain unanswered: Are these forms of engagement still political? How new and effective are they in terms of social-ecological change?
Convenor: Prof. Sigrid Baringhorst, Mundo Yang, Lisa Villioth, Jörg Radtke
Raum AH 217/18
1 December 2017
2 December 2017
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