Conceptions of citizenship in modern liberal political theory have always, implicitly or explicitly, been affected by dynamics of political culture. Rawls' theory of justice, a paradigm of modern liberal political theory, implicitly presupposes a political culture of emancipation and of welfarist policies. This contribution distinguishes three 'cultural turns' that make explicit how citizenship has been affected by political culture in the last several decades. First, the notion of 'access to one's own culture', as advocated by multiculturalist liberalism, is shown to be merely a belated recognition of the fact that political culture always already was a decisive factor in liberal political theory. Second, it is argued that the 'switch' from private to public argument, as it figures prominently in liberal theory, presupposes a political culture that supports and encourages the practice of such a kind of switching between private and public identity, and reasoning. Third, the political culture of emancipation has, ironically, produced a counter-emancipatory turn from interactivity toward 'interpassivity': the inability to act on norms that one subscribes to oneself. It is argued that this interpassive turn - a new kind of 'dialectic of Enlightenment' - may explain typically (post)modern forms of dissatisfaction with democratic life.

, , , ,,
Citizenship Studies
Erasmus School of Philosophy

van Oenen, G. (2010). Three cultural turns: How multiculturalism, interactivity and interpassivity affect citizenship. Citizenship Studies, 14(3), 293–306. doi:10.1080/13621021003731856