Plenary 3: Re-defining Citizenship in Contemporary Development Discourse

Thursday, 26 June 2014, 11.15am

Early discussions on citizenship in the late 1980s – 90s shaped by the strong social movements then, focused more on socio-economic dimensions, social mobilization and relations between marginalized social groups and the state. In recent years neo-liberal discourse and privatization initiatives have led middle class groups to believe that their citizenship rights are being hollowed out; being reduced to consumer rights only by privatization and globalization. Several middle class reactions have been noted, such as migration to larger cities, emigration to more developed countries, gentrification of urban areas, the expansion of gated communities and other forms of local and community based policing. The North African and Turkish “Springs” as well as the mass demonstrations in Brazil, reveal the new assertiveness of the new middle classes previously assumed to be apolitical citizens.

This plenary will examine the emerging forms of citizenship in the present development sphere; the emerging forms of social and political injustices; the role of migration, diasporas and remittances with regard to responsible development i.e. looking for ways to convert ‘brain drain’ into ‘brain gain’.