This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks to examine the emergence of the complex, diverse and heterogenous citizen within the contemporary world. This is a citizen who is increasingly asked to carry the risks as an individual as solidarity institutions and the welfare state have receded from the public sphere and frequently lost credibility. A generation of theorists have attempted to understand this flues environment, from TH Marshall’s discussion of citizenship and class, to Ulrich Beck’s risk society, and Engin Isin’s neurotic citizen, each is wrestling with the many changes which have only briefly been touched on here. As such, our starting point is that citizenship studies must take an interdisciplinary perspective, both crossing and combining the political, sociological, cultural, economic and community development academic disciplines to better gauge the developments of the contemporary citizen.
The project will assess and explore a number of core themes.
- What constitutes the 21st Century Citizen?
- What is its relationship to new media and technologies with their changing markers of adulthood, success and loyalty?
- How does the citizen of the 21st century maintain a sense of agency, if any?
Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.