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Austerity, Community Action, and the Future of Citizenship$
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Shana Cohen, Christina Fuhr, and Jan-Jonathan Bock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331032

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331032.001.0001

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Aiming for reconnection: responsible citizenship

Aiming for reconnection: responsible citizenship

(p.255) Fifteen Aiming for reconnection: responsible citizenship
Austerity, Community Action, and the Future of Citizenship

Christopher Baker

Policy Press

This chapter examines, via two-faith based case studies of welfare provision and social justice (a food project and a local currency initiative), emerging performative practices of responsible citizenship and explores their implications for public policy and political philosophy. Key concepts framing this debate include ideas of postsecularity, spiritual capital, progressive localism, moral pluralism and spaces of convergence. The chapter argues that we are in the process of shifting from a Rawlsian framed understanding of responsible citizenship to a post-Rawlsian one. The former framework proposed an expectation of rational citizenship in the form of individualised cognitive assent to universalist conceptual frameworks based on notions of justice, equality and liberty. The new post-Rawlsian framework is based on more affective and performative ideas or subjectivities of citizenship, based on the desire for a re-connectivity after 40 years of neo-liberalised imaginaries and assumptions. This desire to reconnect at both a community and an ethical level is driven both by deepening inequality and lack of hope in several localities, but also a complex framing of macro drivers including the re-emergence of religious and non-religious beliefs in public sphere, and the realisation of the depth of the moral as well as political crisis presented in current modernity. The author refers to these faith-curated case studies as new spaces of convergence that express a radical hospitality and commitment to practically living out an ethic of care and dignity. The clear moral religious frameworks characterising these spaces attracts other social actors from a variety of political, epistemological and ontological positions which creates added value in terms of problem solving capability, insight and shared resources. 

Keywords:   Politics, religion, belief, localism, convergence

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