M. Oude Vrielink
T. van Wijdeven
- Meedoen met de overheid? Over de stille beleidspraktijk van de doe-democratie
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Over the past decade, policy attention for ‘active citizenship’ and ‘bottom up’ citizen initiatives has strongly increased. Nowadays, governments tend to approach citizens more and more as practical ‘doers’: as active citizens that can initiate projects in the public domain - for instance to increase the livability of their neighborhood. The dominant policy perspective on what is called the ‘democracy of action’ is one of a small government (to make room for a ‘big society’) that is not directive but supportive to active citizens.
In this article, we first argue that in practice we observe two ‘silent ideologies’ that suppress this policy perspective of the democracy of action. We call these the silent ideologies of ‘professional centralism’ and of ‘instrumental support’; we claim that in practice these ideologies enable the dominance of professionals over citizen initiatives (and nót that of the citizens). Second we state that the policy perspective of the democracy of action itself contains a silent ideology: it assumes a highly depoliticized form of citizenship. In the short term, this may be convenient for administrators and policy makers but in the long run this can lead to a less democracy because the voices of critical citizens are not heard.
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