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Citizen Participation: Home

Covers political, social, environmental and economic activities aimed at building a better and more democratic and sustainable society

What's It All About?

Active citizenship is an umbrella concept that looks at the rights and responsibilities of citizens, regardless of the place they call home. Activities can be local or global in focus. Keywords include citizenship, participatory rights, engagement, activism, civil society, volunteerism, grassroots, etc. This page pays some attention to theory, but more to case studies, approaches, tools across political, social, economic, and environmental spheres of society.

Check out the Enclyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice for background material on the many forms and approaches to the topic.

Related Subject Gudies

MSU Libraries' Human Rights Guide - A brief guide to human rights research tools.

Participatory and/or Citizen Rights

What rights might we have that are largely considered basic human rights, whether they are currently exercised or constrained in our society? Global bodies like the United Nations have spelled some out especially for groups that have historically been left out including the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Disabled Persons, and Children. Specific participatory rights have also been noted by area of interest, e.g., in decisions regarding the environment. These rights are also sometimes considered as rights to assembly, to petition, to associate, and to vote. See also guide to the broader topic of "Human Rights".

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - See particularly Article 29 "Participation in Political and Public Life".

Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development - from the 1992 Earth Summit, see especially Principle 10 "Public Participation" in decisions regarding the environment

UN Convention on Rights of the Child - a fact sheet that illuminates rights of children to participate in decisions.

Finding Journal Articles

Whether looking for scholarly articles, case studies, recent news, or simply the insights of activists, there are numerous tools to use. Below is a short targeted list, but if you aren't finding what you need, consult with a librarian to assist your research.

Academic One File - Academic OneFile is a collection of more than 8,000 journals, mostly peer-reviewed, all with full manual indexing and backfile content, covering a variety of academic disciplines from STM to the humanities. The majority of the content is available in full-text, both in HTML and PDF formats.

Alternative Press Index and Archive - covers the activist press.

PolicyFile - database of research and policy briefs from hundreds of think tanks (mostly U.S. based)

Proquest - a collection of databases accessing scholarly, trade, and popular poublications.

Web of Science - access to scholarly jounrals in all fields.

Workers' Rights

Rights of employees to participate in decisions in the workplace vary widely. These are some basic resources.

Labor Unions and Workers' Rights - a website to key organizations, networks, and resources identified by the National Endowment of Democracy (NED) "chosen for their mission of fostering positive, democratic change around the world."

International Comparative and Labor Employment Law Research Guide - a thorough 41 page guide from the Syracuse University Law School Library covers all aspects of legal discussion domestic and international.

Workers' Rights: A Bibliography - a somewhat dated, but still useful compilation from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library at the University of California - Berkeley.

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