Home › Forums › E-Conferences › Economic and Political Citizenship E-Dialogue, June 11-12, 2014 › Is the state creating new opportunities for economic citizenship?
June 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm #404
Question for Day 2, June 12
Speaking of the Indian context, Ela Bhatt talks about a dangerous mix of decentralized political power, and increasingly centralized economic power, resulting in greater inequality and risks to sustainability. To the extent that this imbalance is occurring more broadly, how is the state creating new opportunities for economic citizenship for people on the margins– in your own country context for example ? Are there examples which show where these new economic inclusions have enabled people to pursue political inclusion?June 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm #405
This is a contentious and complex issue; it will be interesting to learn about different country examples, especially in places like Brazil where initiatives in the solidarity economy have been supported by the state along with efforts to create a more inclusive public deliberation process through participatory budgeting. And yet, as Vargisha explained in the SL context, issues of patronage and collusion threaten genuine inclusion. Our working group members from A-Code in Uganda have also talked about political cooptation of socio-economic formations such as cooperatives in the economic sector.June 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm #407simeenParticipant
Hi this is Simeen. Sorry I was not active on day one.
I think in many contexts other actors namely NGOs and the private sectors might also be creating opportunities for economic citizenship, especially when state agencies are being rolled back or when they are colonized by the political party in power.June 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #408
It would be great to have some examples of this, Simeen, and how the state enables or frustrates these effortsJune 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm #409simeenParticipant
Furthermore, the potential of these new opportunities for economic citizenship to create the conditions for political agency/action will depend upon the extent which people in that context have social relationships based on community responsibilities and horizontal rather than hierarchical relationships.
In situations described by Ela Bhatt when economic power becomes concentrated in the hands of a few groups, political agency arising around economic entitlements could also be in the form of protests and violence rather than participation in state created political spaces.June 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm #410bvonlieresParticipant
Simeen makes a very important point about different forms of political participation, including protest and violence, as mechanisms for deepening agency. One issue we should consider in our comparative research is how different forms of political participation (formal and informal, protest or more dialogical ) re-shape economic opportunities initiated by the state. In Toronto margianlised groups, especially immigrant groups, rely on adaptive strategies, rather than protest strategies to engage the local state. These involve building coalitions with other pro-poverty groups. We are keen to understand how these adaptive approaches actually work and whether they result in opening up spaces for economic citizenship, i.e. more economic inclusion.June 13, 2014 at 6:46 am #411rmohantyParticipant
Extending Simeen’s point- The state is creating new economic groups in diverse ways- rural livelihood and entrepreneurship,public work and employment guarantee, micro-credit and bank linkages etc. The collectives in certain contexts raise policy or implementation issues, but their politics often remains within a state given framework.
Would like to hear more voices from other countries!June 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm #412
Thank you all for your participation in this e-dialogue: We have opened up more questions, of course:
What type of political participation — adaptive (coalition building), protest, “formal”
Does the type of political participation vary according to type and level of economic agency/citizenship
Does collective economic activity result in greater influence and access in political spheres, or are they more subject to cooptation?
What types of state enabled economic citizenship are likely to lead to economic agency/citizenship and how does that impact political participation?
Our next task is to summarise this discussion and post on the forum website, so that we can get a more clearly defined research agenda
Do feel free to continue this discussion! At the end of this month, some of you will be participating in the Coady workshop. Ranjita, someone will have to play your role of tweeting from there!. We’ll keep you all up to speed with developments.
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