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Challenging the third sectorGlobal prospects for active citizenship$
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Sue Kenny, Marilyn Taylor, Jenny Onyx, and Marjorie Mayo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316916

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316916.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 26 February 2020

Active citizenship and the emergence of networks

Active citizenship and the emergence of networks

(p.163) Ten Active citizenship and the emergence of networks
Challenging the third sector

Sue Kenny

Marilyn Taylor

Jenny Onyx

Marjorie Mayo

Policy Press

In order to understand active citizenship and the formation of third sector organisations, one must look beneath their surface manifestations and understand their emergent nature. The vast majority of civil society networks and organisations are formed from below, emerging from the dynamic and creative turmoil that is driven by social disequilibrium and the search for new responses to contemporary issues and problems. This approach places agency at the centre of the analysis. Drawing on complexity theory, the chapter explores how emergent networks go through a period of formation, much of which will be invisible to the outsider and lack any coherent shape, only some of which will ultimately form stable organizational structures. The chapter analyses four case studies of small rural communities, which together demonstrate the basic principles of emergence. The fifth case of the World Social Forum applies the same analysis at a global level.

Keywords:   active citizenship, networks, emergence, agency, complexity theory, world social forum

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