The CDE is very pleased to announce more success in the latest round of grants awarded: CDE member Dr Derek Edyvane has been awarded an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship to lead a project on ‘Ordinary Citizenship’.
This project helps to create a healthier democracy by exploring the idea and value of ‘ordinary citizenship’, and by showing that ordinary citizens play a vital role in public life. We often ask what makes a good citizen, but rarely what makes an ordinary citizen. We think of ordinary citizens only as ‘not-so-good citizens’ and spend a lot of time trying to ‘improve’ them. This stigmatisation of the ordinary citizen has been exploited by populist political movements which have fostered social division by cynically positioning themselves as defenders of the ordinary people.
But this project suggests that, instead of disparaging them (or romanticising them), we must find ways of accommodating ordinary citizens within the democratic framework and learn how to foster the distinctive qualities their role demands.
Working closely with scholars and practitioners, the project will inspire new approaches to understanding and cultivating citizenship beyond formal democratic institutions. The Fellowship will start in February 2022 and run for 18 months.