International Multidisciplinary Conference Organised by the PIDOP Consortium in collaboration with the University of Bologna May 11-12, 2011
In many countries, conventional forms of political participation have declined in recent years, with growing levels of political apathy, disengagement from formal democratic processes and increasing distrust of, and lack of confidence in, political institutions. This democratic deficit poses a serious threat to the perceived legitimacy of governance.
To understand and promote active citizenship, it is vital to examine how people conceive their role as citizens, how they develop a sense of belonging and ownership in their communities, and how they subjectively experience this role and sense of belonging. It is also essential to investigate a range of diverse groups, particularly marginalised groups that are at risk of political disengagement due to age, gender or ethnicity, if the aim is to develop effective policy and practical recommendations to reconfigure democracy where participation, ownership, diversity and pluralism are key words. In addition, analysis of political participation among marginalised groups will help to expand the concept of citizenship.
It will also make a substantial contribution to current scholarly and policy debates about democratic deficit.