chapter  3
15 Pages

Citizenship and civil society discourse


In Chapter 2 we discussed civil society as one of the driving concepts in the transformation process European countries are going through. We referred to the European political interpretation of citizenship, stressing self-responsibility for the personal living and working conditions, fighting against a presumed over-invasive welfare state making citizens dependent, and social responsibility, implying a shared responsibility of citizens in their communities and in society. This interpretation of citizenship connects to ‘social citizenship’, a concept brought in by Marshall. In this chapter we reflect on social citizenship, its concepts, its history, its discourse. After a short overview on citizenship and civil society in general, we will deal in particular with social citizenship, starting with Thomas Humphrey Marshalls’ original triad – civil, political and social citizenship (Marshall 1950) – and Tom Bottomore’s distinction between formal and substantial social citizenship (Marshall and Bottomore 1992). From there, we discuss Ruth Lister’s feminist point of view and her focus on differentiated universalism and subjective citizenship (Lister 2003, 2007), and at the end we will come back to activating citizenship, its strengths and weaknesses.