Hivos International

Social Movements

Framing the changing face of citizen action

turbulent times in need of reflection

When spring became summer, protests even landed in the UK. The British government responded predictably and was quick to frame these protests acts of senseless violence and unnecessary destruction of community property. Protestors were being portrayed as senseless criminals, their acts clear examples of moral decline, ample rationale for tighter security and heavy punishments. Yet, even the best of spin has not succeeded in smothering critical analyses suggesting that things might not be so simple.

2011: The Year When Citizens Woke Up

Leila Nachawati: Syrian/Spanish activist and journalist

As both a Syrian and Spanish citizen Leila Nachawati, activist and journalist and participant of the event The Changing Face of Citizen Action, she has found herself in the middle of citizen mobilisations in both countries at the same time. "Growing up in the Middle Eastern context of repression and lack of freedom, mobilizations in the Arab countries seemed like a miracle to me, to my friends and my family. After decades of dictatorship suddenly everything was shaking."

Unruly politics: atomised movements, activist individuals and clientilism

Jenny Morgan on

Do new social media create new forms of citizen action? Jenny Morgan reports on the 'Changing Face of Citizen Action' knowledge exploration in the Hague.

The Working Paper aims to contribute to a growing pool of experience of applying power analysis for improving social activism and organisational practice. Over the last decade, an increasing number of practitioners, researchers, NGOs, trusts and development agencies have introduced power frameworks and methods of power analysis into processes of context analysis, programme development and monitoring and evaluation. Power has been examined and addressed in relation to a vast range of development, human rights and social justice issues from women’s empowerment to economic justice and from local governance to HIV/AIDS. Power analysis processes have taken place from the UK to Colombia and from Indonesia to Sierra Leone with much innovation in methods and approaches for introducing ways of examining power with community members, grassroots leaders, NGO staff and donors.

Allison Fine and Mariz Tadros on citizenship for change

a SID forum alert

As a follow up to the online launch of Development 55.2 'Citizenship for Change' in the following weeks DevelopmentPLUS will be featuring interviews and opinion pieces on the subject of citizenship, governance, social movements, the role of civil society and the new media. Featured this week: Allison Fine (Demos) and Mariz Tadros (IDS) for DevelopmenPLUS.

SID forum alert: Citizenship after the citizen’s year 2011

by Michele Micheletti

What we now hope for in the aftermath of the citizen activity of 2011? Asks Michele Micheletti in a new contribution on the SID forum on citizenship for change?

This report presents the initial findings of the ‘Subterranean Politics’ research project, based on seven contextual case studies carried out by researchers from partner institutions across Europe; for a full listing please see the page on Contextual Research Reports.

The Wicked series

The Hivos Civic Explorations Programme and the independent Dutch thinktank Kennisland proudly announce ‘the wicked series’, an expedition in search of new methods and initiatives for adressing ‘wicked problems’.

Can Do-ocracy deepen democracy? An international perspective

A symposium by Hivos, ISS and the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy 6 December 2012

Around the world, a growing crisis of legitimacy characterizes the relationship between citizens and the institutions that affect their lives. Citizens speak of mounting disillusionment with government and the institutions of representative democracy. An age of ‘Global disaffect’ has produced an escalation of drastic citizen action that critically reflects on the changing role of the citizen in global politics. From the Arab spring to Occupy Wall Street. From anonymous to the Indignados , a new wave of mass mobilization swept the globe, stunning policy makers and observers alike. Amidst this turmoil, social media emerged as the alleged new magic bullet, changing the face and pace of citizen action.

Reflections on Citizen Action

Report of Symposium 'Can Do-ocracy deepen Democracy?'

Can do-ocracy deepen democracy? A question triggered by the development of a growing crisis of legitimacy that characterizes the relationship between citizens and the institutions that affect their lives, and the rise of a new generation of self-organizing citizens that operates outside the formal spheres of government.