eCite Digital Repository

'In Search of Society? The Limitations of Citizen-centred Governance


Grube, DC, 'In Search of Society? The Limitations of Citizen-centred Governance, The Political Quarterly, 84, (3) pp. 371-379. ISSN 0032-3179 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2013.12024.x


Democratic governments have spent much of the last two decades attempting to recalibrate their governance systems around a single focal entity: the citizen. The all-pervasive rhetoric of citizen-centred governance has seen policies conceived, delivered and evaluated in terms of the satisfaction levels achieved by individual 'citizens'. This article argues that by disaggregating societal interests down to the smallest available individual unit - the citizen - policy makers have created unrealistic expectations of individual participation, leading to public distrust when 'citizen-centred' rhetoric does not match reality. Simultaneously, the focus on individual outcomes has narrowed the policy-making gaze away from wider society-level measures that could create more robust policy options in the face of 'hard choices.' The result - paradoxically - is that the more government focuses on pleasing the individual citizen, the less trusting those citizens are of government's ability to deliver meaningful outcomes. © The Author 2013. © The Political Quarterly Publishing Co. Ltd. 2013.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Political science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Grube, DC (Associate Professor Dennis Grube)
ID Code:99013
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Arts, Law and Education
Deposited On:2015-03-11
Last Modified:2018-03-19

Repository Staff Only: item control page