This short conceptual piece calls for a careful rethinking of what feminist scholars have articulated as an expanded notion of politics: the notion that rejects the binary constructs of formal/informal, and demonstrates the significance of community-based activism as an informal arena of politics and citizenship construction. Introducing the interacting and mutually constitutive concepts of “invited” and “invented” spaces of citizenship, this essay urges recognition of the full range of spaces within the informal arena where citizenship is practiced. It warns of the risk arising from the literature’s limited focus on strategies of survival: namely, the likelihood of a bifurcated conceptualization of informal, community- based politics that distinguishes as “legitimate civil society” the grassroots actions and informal politics that are geared towards coping mechanisms; and dismisses as an “outcast civil society” any otherwise patterned grassroots actions and informal politics, that centers of resistance mechanisms to defy the status quo in the hope of larger societal change. In this neoliberal moment, when relations between the state and civil society are central to the project of state legitimization, it is particularly important to formulate an inclusive definition of the informal arena of politics.
"Invited and Invented Spaces of Participation: Neoliberal Citizenship and Feminists' Expanded Notion of Politics.,"
Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women's & Gender Studies: Vol. 1:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cortland.edu/wagadu/vol1/iss1/3