Cities under economic austerity
The return of citizenship claims
in Western capitalism in transition
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Citizenship is the engine for the creation of spaces for collective action when people's life chances have been undermined and urban societies experience social and political tensions. This chapter discusses some debates on citizenship with special emphasis on the relation between national and urban citizenship. It then provides some examples in which citizenship claims are re-emerging through the active involvement of civil society through mobilisation around specific issues, such as supporting social housing. The chapter proposes an explanation of why social actors emerged outside traditional parties in southern European societies with the aim of restating rights, and shifting the discourse from austerity to social inequalities. It concludes with a brief note on the challenges in scaling up from urban citizenship practices and local politics to the level of effective national coordination of progressive political actors and policies which could promote new social contracts.

Western capitalism in transition

Global processes, local challenges



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