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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(12), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120252

Citizen Initiatives in the Post-Welfare State

1
Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University & Research, Hollandseweg 1, Building 201, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Spatial Science, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, University of Groningen, Landleven 1, 9747 AD Groningen, The Netherlands
3
Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences, GOVCOPP-Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract

Recently we have seen the emergence of citizen-led community initiatives and civic enterprises, taking over governmental tasks in providing public services in various sectors, such as energy, care, landscape maintenance, and culture. This phenomenon can be explained by a renewed interest in community, place, and ‘local identity’; the erosion of the welfare state; the privatization of public services; a re-emergence of the social economy; and tensions between ‘bottom-up’ initiatives and the changing role of the state. The co-production of governments and initiatives can potentially result in a shift from government-led to community-led planning. This, however, raises questions about their innovative potential, the democratic consequences, and the potential roles of governments in enabling these societal dynamics. This article discusses these issues theoretically, illustrated with empirical examples from Portugal, the Netherlands, and Wales, in a context of uncertainty regarding the future of the traditional European welfare state. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen initiatives; citizen-led initiatives; co-production; sustainable place-shaping citizen initiatives; citizen-led initiatives; co-production; sustainable place-shaping
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Soares da Silva, D.; Horlings, L.G.; Figueiredo, E. Citizen Initiatives in the Post-Welfare State. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 252.

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