Making Rights Real: Exploring Citizenship, Participation and Accountability

Edited by: John Gaventa, Alex Shankland and Joanna Howard

March 2002
Volume 33 Number 2

Around the world, a growing crisis of legitimacy characterises the relationship between citizens and the institutions that affect their lives. Citizens speak of mounting disillusionment with government, based on concerns about corruption, lack of responsiveness to the needs of the poor and the absence of a sense of connection with elected representatives and bureaucrats. Traditional forms of expertise and representation are being questioned and the rights and responsibilities of corporations and other global actors are being challenged, as global inequalities persist and deepen.

In this Bulletin, researchers associated with the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability (DRC) share emerging work around the meanings of rights and citizenship, spaces and places for participation, and new forms of accountability in different parts of the world. The DRC is coordinated at IDS and brings together researchers from Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK.