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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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Conclusion: citizenship, community and solidarity at the end of the welfare state

Conclusion: citizenship, community and solidarity at the end of the welfare state

Chapter:
(p.277) Sixteen Conclusion: citizenship, community and solidarity at the end of the welfare state
Source:
Austerity, Community Action, and the Future of Citizenship
Author(s):

Jan-Jonathan Bock

Shana Cohen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447331032.003.0016

The conclusion argues that political debates about the relationship between austerity and grassroots politics have focused on antagonism and anti-establishment anger. Other emergent citizenship practices have not been covered as prominently by the media and failed to have the same impact on policy and public discourse. This volume, however, has shown that European austerity has produced diverse types of political agency, and many of them include quiet, constructive, and concrete forms of neighbourhood action to promote equality and social justice. Such forms of community activism already construct local solidarity, but they can also become excuses for further withdrawal of state protection or amount to labour exploitation, leaving activists with ambivalent reflections on their own work, which the volume has documented as well. We suggest that future research will have to investigate whether the socially constructive practices of citizenship examined here will be able to translate successfully into national policy and produce change, or remain confined to specific local contexts without an impact on relevant public agendas.

Keywords:   Austerity, solidarity, citizenship, neoliberalism, social change

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