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Citizenship and Social Development

Citizen Participation and Community Involvement in Social Welfare and Social Policy

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Edited By Litsa Nicolaou-Smokoviti, Heinz Sünker and Julia Rozanova

This interdisciplinary book includes contributions from scholars from different parts of the world from the fields of political science, economy, sociology, social work, philosophy, and education. The major topics deal with contemporary challenges in social analysis, social theories, social policy, social work. Its special focus is aiming at questions of social development in the context of citizen’s participation and involvement in social welfare and social policy. Therefore the overall perspective is connected to questions of democracy in theory and practice, the question of the democratisation of all institutions and of everyday life. The contributions gain a special relevance in the contemporary time of social crisis – both within and beyond the European Union.

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I. (RE)DEFINING THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO ANALYSIS OF PARTICIPATION

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Paths of Citizen Participation and Responsibility – In Shaping Individual and Community Involvement with Matters of Social Policy and Praxis. Searching for a “Planetarium Commons” Azril Bacal Introduction The attempt is made in this work, to critically appraise the main paths of citizen participation, within the socio-political landscape of our times, ranging from extreme rightist to all existing shades of the environmental and left political movements and parties. During the recent “Roma” Gala, last Sunday in Stockholm, Hans Caldaras, writer, singer and emblematic fighter for the human rights of “gypsies” in Swe- den and Europe, and also a dear friend, provocatively raised the question of “how impoverished would Europe be today – were not for the valuable cultural, artistic and musical presence and contribution of the Roma”? A question that could equally be raised about jews, arabs and all other immigrant, national and ethnic minorities in our midst. Moreover, while marching with light candles last night in Uppsala, in commemoration of the infamous 9th of November 1933 “Kristallnacht” in Germany, an image emerged in my mind, a photo proudly exhibited in his cell phone by the most important celebrity-show, working for Berlusconi’s media empire, that of Mussolini.1 An Emerging Threat to Democracy and the Welfare System – arising from European Political Rightist Movements and Parties The above reminds us of the continuing presence and threat posed by extreme rightist political parties and movements in many countries of contemporary Eu- rope and, along with it, its persisting appeal to xenophobic and anti-immigrant and racist...

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