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Citizenship & Governance

Governance is about a pattern or ordered rule encompassing policy, law, and practice; it is the process of steering societies through collective actions and the embedding of socio-cultural norms and practices.

Citizens are central to governance; they are simultaneously recipients of regulatory regimes and also shape these social environments. Governing contemporary societies is more complex now than perhaps ever before. Relationships between states and citizens are being radically re-configured as the boundaries of citizenship and who counts as a citizen are consolidated and contested. Governance is becoming more polycentric, particularly in the digital era, with implications for how governments, businesses, voluntary organisations, community groups and individual citizens organise, make decisions, and take actions.

Key issues in society may be contested between different groups and interests, with alliances bringing together otherwise distinct social and political groupings. In the UK and beyond, economic, political, and social challenges are encountered in a diverse range of contexts and circumstances. From the global and universal (macro level), the organisational and institutional (meso) to the individualised personal lives of the private sphere (micro level), citizens stand as both solutions and problems of governance.

In the Citizenship & Governance research area, we aim to rethink the changing relationships between governance, institutions and citizens. Building on longstanding research strengths in two faculties, Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Business and Law (FBL), work is undertaken in research streams and through collaboration, capitalising upon synergies and expertise across the streams.

Citizenship & Governance research streams

Collaborative and Inclusive Governance

Explores the ways in which governance pervades every part of human endeavour; whether constitutional, cultural, economic, political, and social with respect to citizenship.

Digital Participation

Responsible for research about how digital technologies are reshaping what participation means in social, political, cultural, organisational and economic contexts.

Faith in Law

Considers the relationship between law, religion, and politics, as well as exploring how communities around the world view the rule of law and it's implementation.

Justice, Borders, and Rights

Addresses some of the most polarising debates around borders, politics, and knowledge production, which are the forefront of debates and conflicts around global inequalities.

Private Lives, Public Intimacies

Investigates how public and private spheres intersect and separate, illustrating how the personal is profoundly political, at every level.

Public Leadership and Management

Explores the implications for how societies are led in ways which create (or destroy) public value, and how governments and public services are managed.


Shutterstock-581357776 Happy retired couple using modern vr goggle glasses

Improving wellbeing through digital games

Dr Hannah R. Marston, Research Fellow in the Health & Wellbeing Priority Research Area, was interviewed by to discuss how research using digital games and associated technologies has been investigated in the area of health and wellbeing.

17th November 2017
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Upcoming Events

Nov 28

Am I normal?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 -

18:00 to 19:45

Berrill Lecture Theatre, Open University, Walton Hall Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

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