Citizenship has become a buzzword in British politics during the 1990s, and, under the Blair administration, has established itself as part of political rhetoric. This use of 'citizenship' however, ignores the lack of formal engagement of the public in politics and obscures how narrow actual state definitions of 'good' or appropriate citizenship are. Citizenships, Contingency and the Countryside defines citizenship in relation to the rural environment. The book expands and explores a widened conceptualization of citizenship and sets out a range of examples where citizenship, at different scales, has been expressed in and over the rural environment. Part of the analysis includes a review of the political construction and use of citizenship rhetoric over the past 20 years, alongside an historical and theoretical discussion of citizenship and rights in the British countryside. The text concludes with a call to recognise and incorporate the multiple voices and interests in decision-making, who all affect the British countryside. Gavin Parker argues that citizenship should be viewed more expansively and that an understanding of the role of culture and global change should be incorporated into thinking about citizenship. For example, a citizens activities or actions, such as a consumer protest, should be seen as expressions of alternative or post-modern citizenship. This splintering of action and conceptualization should involve government and other institutions in rethinking how they recognize political action, prepare policy and themselves engage with citizens.
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