The Citizenship DRC has conducted its research through a series of working groups, each one dedicated to a distinct theme. The working groups have shared with one another, but carried out their research separately.
Twice, however, the Citizenship DRC has taken the opportunity to explore the common elements that unite the work: the big, overarching questions, like the difference citizen engagement makes, or abstract concepts, such as 'mediation.' The first effort to distil theory and lessons from across the body of work was five years into the project at the half-way point. The Citizenship DRC conducted another round of synthesis at the conclusion of the project.
Throughout the life of the project, the Citizenship DRC has also produced concise summary documents aimed at policy-makers, practitioners and students: policy briefings, short case studies and other concise summaries.
For those unfamiliar with the Citizenship DRC's work, these synthesis papers and the documents aimed at broader audiences are a good place to begin.
Eyben, Rosalind and Sarah Ladbury
Citizenship DRC: Brighton , 2006
Citizenship DRC: Brighton , 2011
Gaventa, John and Gregory Barrett
IDS Working Paper No. 347, Institute of Development Studies: Brighton , 2010
Benequista, N & J, WheelerIDS Bulletin, 43 (5)A review of case studies from a global, ten-year research project coordinated by the Institute of Development Studies...A review of case studies from a global, ten-year research project coordinated by the Institute of Development Studies suggests that previous efforts to understand the value of research for promoting social change has underappreciated the contribution of researchers as social actors. Researchers inhabit a complex web of relations, they hold many identities, and they act politically to bring about social change in ways large and small that go beyond what they write in journals or in policy briefs. Through interviews and self- reflection, we explored some of these ways – formal and informal, direct and indirect – that researchers communicate their knowledge. To capture some of the diversity, this article presents a typology of different ‘roles’ that researchers play as communicators. We hope this typology might help to clarify our understanding of research utilisation, and might also provide insight into how to approach research communication in more strategic ways.
Mahmud, S & C, Nyamu-MusembiCitizenship DRC Synthesis Paper - DraftThis article assesses the impact that social mobilization/political empowerment initiatives led by NGOs have had on ...This article assesses the impact that social mobilization/political empowerment initiatives led by NGOs have had on the gender dynamics of every-day expression of citizenship at community level in Kenya and Bangladesh. Dominant discourses on gender and citizenship have tended to focus on structural constraints on womenâs exercise of citizenship rights, as manifested in laws, policies and design of public institutions. Without denying the reality of these structural constraints, this article seeks to make visible the role of agency in the construction of citizenship: the micro-level day-to-day expressions of citizenship, the influence of NGO-led social mobilization/political empowerment initiatives in cultivating that agency, and the gender dynamics that are implicated in day-to-day expressions of citizenship. This article builds on earlier writings based on two micro-level studies in Kenya and Banglades
Summary of Findings from a Decade of Collaborative Research on Citizen Engagement, Brighton: Citizenship DRCThis document is intended as a summary of and reference guide to the Citizenship DRCâs work. Though it is not compr...This document is intended as a summary of and reference guide to the Citizenship DRCâs work. Though it is not comprehensive, the aim of the document is to highlight the major findings whilst signposting the original research. For readers who wish to reference these ideas in future publications, it is preferable, where possible, to cite the original Citizenship DRC research. In instances where this document must be cited directly, please list the author as the Citizenship DRC. The document has been compiled by Nicholas Benequista with major contributions by John Gaventa.
Coelho, VSP, Thompson, L & R, MohantyIDS Working Paper, Number 359Democracy is considered the common âcurrencyâ of state and civil society interaction in middle-economic-power sta...Democracy is considered the common âcurrencyâ of state and civil society interaction in middle-economic-power states such as India, Brazil and South Africa. In fact the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) link, as it is understood in international relations, is premised upon certain political and economic similarities between these three states in the South, not least their democratic political foundations.1 In this paper we are looking at the IBSA states from a citizen-centric point of view, embarking upon a comparative analysis of how states deal with citizens' demands from within. Given the broad similarities of democratic political structures, the emerging economies that make the three states middle-income and the persistent socioeconomic inequalities in these countries, such an analysis of society-state relationships in the IBSA countries will have value for understanding how democracies can be deepened in order to make states responsive to citizensâ demands. This paper consolidates and synthesises the insights from an international research project that has investigated citizen participation and the deepening of democratic processes in the southern countries, including the IBSA countries. The aim of this synthesis paper is to revisit the research findings from this project to explore the interaction between mobilisation and the state as they continue to respond, influence and reconstitute each other in the three formal democracies under study in India, Brazil and South Africa.
von Lieres, B & L , PiperIDS Working Paper, Number 364This paper looks to explore and interrogate an important component of successful public participation cases which we ...This paper looks to explore and interrogate an important component of successful public participation cases which we term âdemocratic mediationâ. It is argued that, around the world, the practice of âdemocratic mediationâ is an increasingly common phenomenon in forms of engagement between citizens and public authority, which includes, but is not limited to the state as neo-liberal globalisation intersects with democratisation. This claim emerges from an analysis of a significant number of Citizenship Development Research Centre (CDRC) case-studies on recent forms of citizen participation in the global south. Further, despite some important differences, these forms of mediation share a common feature of activism by a relatively elite third party for the inclusion of the interests of marginalised groups in formal decision-making.
Benequista, NConference Paper, The Politics of Poverty, Elites, Citizens and States. 21st-23st June 2010, LondonThis summary note provides a guide to key findings, especially those that link to contemporary policy debates on how ...This summary note provides a guide to key findings, especially those that link to contemporary policy debates on how citizen participation and engagement can contribute to development, strengthen democratic and responsive states, and help to realise human rights. For each message, reference is made to key documents that support these findings and articulate them in more detail.
Leach, M & A, CornwallCitizenship DRC Synthesis PaperRecent debates about citizen involvement in health have given new political currency to the promise of the Alma Ata D...Recent debates about citizen involvement in health have given new political currency to the promise of the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, and its emphasis on the role people can play in the design and delivery of primary health care services. This article reflects on some of the emphases and silences in these debates. It draws on a series of case studies of citizen engagement from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa and the UK, bringing together work on institutionalised participation and mobilization. To understand how public and citizen involvement shapes health services, this article suggests, closer attention needs to be paid to issues of representation, framing and the politics of identity and knowledge. By exploring the synergies between mobilization and invited participation, the article explores what insights might be gained into the ways people negotiate health citizenship and influence the institutions and decisions that affect such a fundamental dimension of their lives.
Gaventa JIn Alan Fowler and Chiku Malunga (eds), NGO Management: The Earthscan CompanionThis paper is drawn from a longer paper given by John Gaventa at a conference of the Development Research Centre on C...This paper is drawn from a longer paper given by John Gaventa at a conference of the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability (Citizenship DRC) in 2005. The Citizenship DRC is a network of scholars and practitioners which between 2000 â 2010 carried out an extensive programme on research on rights, participation and accountability, which has produced over 150 case studies in some twenty countries. The case studies and example used in this paper draw largely from this body of work. All of the work, as well as complete versions of most of the cases references cited, may be found at www.drc-citizenship.org, as well as in the eight volume Zed Book series on Claiming Citizenship (http://www.zedbooks.co.uk/citizenship).
Cornwall, A, Robins, S & B, von LieresCitizenship DRC Synthesis Paper - DRAFTThis paper draws on case study research conducted by members of the DFID-funded Citizenship Development Research Cent...This paper draws on case study research conducted by members of the DFID-funded Citizenship Development Research Centre to explore instantiations of citizenship in different kinds of states, and to reflect what citizen engagement comes to imply in these contexts. Rather than seeking a unified definition of citizenship that covers all dimensions of human action, entitlement and belonging, we are interested in the everyday, and often highly contingent and improvisational, negotiations and performances through which people define and pursue their desires and aspirations. We suggest that an approach that explores diverse meanings and expressions of citizenship in different kinds of states can enrich our understanding of citizenship precisely because it proceeds less from normative claims or abstract ideals than from everyday encounters in particular contexts. Such an approach draws attention to the diverse ways in which particular subject-positions and forms of identification are articulated in the pursuit of concrete social and political projects. We begin by reviewing thinking on democratic citizenship in relation to the global South, and go on from there to dimensions and experiences of citizen engagement in different contexts.
Barrett, G. & Gaventa JIDS Working Paper Number 347In this paper, we report on a meta-case study analysis of a ten-year research programme on citizenship, participation...In this paper, we report on a meta-case study analysis of a ten-year research programme on citizenship, participation and accountability which analysed a non-randomised sample of 100 research studies of four types of citizen engagement in 20 countries. By mapping the observable effects of citizen participation through a close reading of these studies, we created a typology of four democratic and developmental outcomes, including (a) the construction of citizenship, (b) the strengthening of practices of participation, (c) the strengthening of responsive and accountable states, and (d) the development of inclusive and cohesive societies.
We find that citizen participation produces positive effects across these outcome types, though in each category there are also examples of negative outcomes of citizen participation. We also find that these outcomes vary according to the type of citizen engagement and to political context. These findings have important implications for the design of and support for participatory programmes meant to improve state responsiveness and effectiveness.
- Overarching lessons
- Citizenship: meanings and expressions
- Claiming rights and accountability
- New spaces for change?
- Science and citizenship
- Deepening democracy
- Winning policy change
- Global citizen engagement
- Social movements in the south
- Citizenship in violent settings