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Doing citizenship : The cultural origin of civic agency in the public shpere

[journal article]

Dahlgren, Peter

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Abstract The notion of civic agency gains relevance in the discussions about declining participation in democracy. This article argues that we need to take a ‘cultural turn’ in our understanding of such agency, seeing citizenship not just in formal terms but also in regard to meaning, practices, communication and identities. It pulls together various strands of thought that are helpful in conceptualizing civic agency, first from the republican conception of democracy, and then from perspectives on civil society. Thereafter it focuses on public spheres and the civic competencies associated with them, particularly the communicative variety. Finally, it critically addresses the notion of deliberative democracy, a concept that has come to signal the mode of communicative interaction of the public sphere, and suggests that this view of civic communication ignores a number of important issues in regard to the cultural aspects of civic competence.
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords citizenship; civic agency; cultural studies; democracy theory; public sphere;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 267-286
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9 (2006) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)