SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Robins, Steven, Cornwall, Andrea and von Lieres, Bettina (2008) 'Rethinking 'citizenship' in the postcolony.' Third World Quarterly, 29 (6). pp. 1069-1086.

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper argues for an approach to researching citizenship and democracy that begins not from normative convictions but from everyday experiences in particular social, cultural and historical contexts. The paper starts with a consideration of the ways in which the terms 'democracy' and 'citizenship' have been used in the discourses and approaches taken within mainstream studies of citizenship and democracy, drawing attention to some of the conceptual blind spots that arise. We call for more attention to be paid to contextual understandings of the politics of everyday life, and to locating state, ngo and donor rhetorics and programmes promoting 'active citizenship' and 'participatory governance' within that politics. It is this kind of understanding, we suggest, that, by revealing the limits of the normativities embedded in these discourses, can provide a more substantive basis for rethinking citizenship from the perspectives of citizens themselves.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 01436597
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:04

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item