chapter  7
15 Pages

Claiming participation rights: social mobilization and citizenship in Denmark and Norway


According to the republican ideal of citizenship, citizens should actively participate in the public deliberation on the common affairs of society, beyond indirect forms of participation like voting. In practice, interest representation and other extra-parliamentary forms of participation often take place through social movements and a range of associations and organized groups. Although such collective action has involved a large proportion of the population in countries like the Nordic ones, some groups of citizens have tended to be absent: people who are in marginal positions, poor, out of work or socially excluded. According to conventional wisdom, marginalized or poor citizens lack the resources and competence to organize and act collectively.