Cultural citizenship as a normative notion for activist practices

Pieter Boele van Hensbroek

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the possibility of a notion of cultural citizenship that can function as an activist tool for formulating claims against cultural exclusion. It claims to have captured such a notion in the definition of cultural citizenship as the ability to co-author the cultural context in which one lives. The argument proceeds in several steps. First, it argues that the agenda of relevant cultural issues should go far beyond questions of cultural groups and recognition as posed in most contemporary literature. For instance, cultural exclusion on a global scale as well as exclusion within groups and exclusions effected by commercialisation of cultural processes should receive equal attention. Second, the article argues for a 'stand-alone' notion of cultural citizenship, i.e. defining cultural citizenship as citizenship in the cultural sphere rather than as concerning merely cultural aspects of political citizenship. Finally, it assesses the potentials of the proposed notion of cultural citizenship as compared to several competitors in the field, viz. Kymlicka's liberal communalism, Sen's idea of cultural liberty, and approaches focussing on cultural participation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number923307420
Pages (from-to)317-330
Number of pages14
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • cultural exclusion
  • cultural participation
  • liberal communalism
  • cultural freedom
  • concept of culture

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