Civic Innovation: Theories and Practices in Politics, Sexuality and Markets

The Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI) at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is a new program exploring how organizations and individuals mobilize to change their societies. CIRI focuses on how they co-shape political, economic and cultural trends in pursuing the common interest whilst respecting differences.

CIRI looks beyond development theories and policy frameworks which tend to emphasize structure, or actors themselves that overly stress the key role of charismatic change agents. CIRI aims to take on board both academic and activist concerns around citizenship struggles and identities. This approach relates to civic action for generational and gender equality, for democratic rights, and for economic justice in development.

The panel will look at civic responses to inequalities in development, both from a researchers’ and activists’ perspective. This panel will explore the nature and roles of ‘interlocutors’ in bringing about civic innovations both within and between domains of sexuality, markets and politics. With an inter-active dialogue approach, the panel will illustrate CIRI’s multi-disciplinary research, practices and methodologies.

Short papers presented by CIRI staff and PhD researchers will show how CIRI is framing the connections among sexuality, politics and markets in relation to the dynamics of civic responses to global capitalism. A main part of the panel is meant for to dialogue with practitioners and activists as well as with fellow researchers on this emerging approach.