The current retrenchment of European welfare states is putting more emphasis on citizen participation as an alternative for public services. This study examines differences in neighbourhood participation between urban neighbourhoods in Rotterdam in which, given their population composition, active citizen's participation is expected to differ. We also examine to which extent neighbourhood characteristics such as neighbourhood deprivation, ethnic diversity and organizational infrastructure and individual characteristics of residents explain variations in neighbourhood participation between neighbourhoods. Using a large survey dataset, bivariate analyses show strong associations between neighbourhood characteristics and average levels of citizen participation. Multilevel regression analysis reveals that these differences in citizen participation are predominantly explained by individual characteristics such as education and age. Our fndings show that the current focus on civic participation may result in more inequality: citizens in advantageous positions are at least better equipped to adapt to the retrenchment of the welfare state than those in disadvantaged positions.

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Mens en Maatschappij: tijdschrift voor sociale wetenschappen
Department of Sociology

Snel, E., Custers, G., & Engbersen, G. (2018). Ongelijkheid in de participatiestad: Stadsbuurten en burgerparticipatie. Mens en Maatschappij: tijdschrift voor sociale wetenschappen, 93(1), 31–57. doi:10.5117/MEM2018.1.SNEL