Citizenship as Agency

At the Coady Institute, we are learning all the time about economic strategies and political strategies that people develop to achieve a sustainable livelihood. One way of looking at these strategies is through the lens of citizenship -- the idea of having rights as well as responsibilities towards others to achieve political and economic agency. Questions we ask ourselves are:  How do efforts to achieve economic and political citizenship intersect and influence each other?  How can strategies to challenge inequality best link struggles for political agency with those of economic agency?

In June 2014, the Coady Institute held a learning forum to explore this dynamic. Thirty participants from civil society organizations and research institutions around the world attended. A report on the workshop can be found HERE.

During 2015-16, four scoping studies were conducted with research teams from among the thirty participants, working closely with civil society host organizations. Several papers on the scoping study research were produced:

Gaventa, J. (2016) “Can Participation 'Fix' Inequality? Unpacking the Relationship between Economic and Political Citizenship", Coady Innovations Series, No. 5.

Mathie, A.  von Lieres, B. Peters, B.  Lee,N. and Alma, E. (2017)  “Pathways towards political and economic agency: A synthesis of findings from five scoping studies” Coady Innovations Series, No. 6.

Mathie, A. et al. (2016) “Grass-roots Pathways for Challenging Social and Political Inequality”, in ISSC, IDS and UNESCO, Challenging Inequalities: Pathways to a Just World, World Social Science Report 2016, Paris: UNESCO Publishing: 259–62,

Please go to Learning Materials on the menu to access teaching cases for the five cases and an expanded teaching case on Banco Palmas.