This book evaluates the role that civic engagement, political participation and active citizenship can play in promoting the establishment of a European polity. The chapters included here examine how the practice of active citizenship is managed and constructed in the context of a European drive to increase civic engagement and political participation in three member states (Portugal, Italy and the UK) and one accession country (Turkey). Looking at both processes and policies promoting active citizenship at the European and national levels, this book uncovers current discourses as well as political priorities and values that surround the activities of non- governmental organizations (NGOs). Of particular interest are debates about the nature and level of civic and political participation and engagement of marginal groups (women, youths, migrants and minorities) as they are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion. The book focuses on the interaction between institutions and civil society actors, addressing a number of questions related to their reciprocal role in influencing, shaping, criticising or disregarding certain political priorities.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Civil Society.
1. INTRODUCTION: Framing Civic Engagement, Political Participation and Active Citizenship in Europe 2. Political and Civic Engagement and Participation: Towards an Integrative Perspective 3. Participation, Dialogue, and Civic Engagement: Understanding the Role of Organized Civil Society in Promoting Active Citizenship in the European Union 4. Europe as a Beacon of Democracy? Citizenship Policies Relating to Youth and Migrants in Portugal 5. Civic and Political Participation of Women and Youth in Turkey: An Examination of Perspectives of Public Authorities and NGOs 6. On Active Citizenship: Discourses and Language about Youth and Migrants in Italy 7. Active Citizenship in the UK: Assessing Institutional Political Strategies and Mechanisms of Civic Engagement