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Delineating Active Citizenship: The Subjectification of Citizens' Initiatives
- van Dam, Rosalie, Duineveld, Martijn, During, Roel
- Journal of environmental policy & planning 2015 v.17 no.2 pp. 163-179
- case studies, governance, people
- A bstract Based on three case studies on citizens' initiatives in their local governance contexts, we analyse the process of subjectification as a performative effect of the dialectical relationship between governmental organizations and citizens' initiatives. We argue that discourses produced by governmental organizations on what it entails to be an active citizen have a performative effect on citizens' initiatives, which adapt themselves, anticipate on what is expected from them and act strategically towards these discourses. As a consequence, some people become ‘good’ citizens meeting the expectations of the governmental discourse. The process of subjectification shows that this not a unilateral act, but mutually activated by both governmental organizations and citizens' initiatives.