Exploring Citizen's Engagement And Responsibilities Of A Citizen
This paper examines in a first place different forms of citizen’s engagement and his responsibilities toward society. In a second place, it discusses the background or the framework of these forms. What is the social role of a citizen? How valid morality could be the root or background of citizen’s responsibilities? So to discuss this topic, three articles have been chosen to conclude either morality represent the root of citizen’s responsibilities or his social engagement which determine his engagement.
A significant amount of work has been done on the issue of civic morality especially in the aspect of the social role of citizen. According to the first article investigating the roots of civic morality: trust, social capital and institutional performance written by Natalia Latke and published 27 October 2006, Civic morality refers to the sense of civic responsibility and honesty for the good public, it entails obedience to the rules. It implies accepting duties as given by society, doing what is good for the society and putting it above your personal gains, therefore deterring from engaging in corruption. The article mentioned the two sources of these responsibilities dictated by the government which are: cultural and institutional, the first refers to individual’s values and norms (such as religious values) or learned through participation in the social life, in other words by practice. The institutional source links civic morality with the quality of public order and the performance of public officials, believing in their honesty, legitimacy and justice, which means that the political institutions are the source of norms of civic morality
The second article presents forms of citizen’s engagement in a descriptive approach. The central question in this article relates to how citizens can be involved in developing social innovations and projects. According to Anna Davies and Julie Simon, citizens should be involved in the development of social innovations and connected to a social mission. Three forms of citizen’s engagement could be identified : taking part in engagement activities voluntarily or in a demonstration as signing a petition and making a donation. These activities are all forms of engagement that relate to social innovation.
The second article Civil Ethics and the Validity of Law written by a Spanish philosopher : Adela Cortina Source: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 3, No. 1, Justice in Philosophy and Social Science (Mar., 2000), pp. 39-55 presents civic ethics as the ethical background of the dictated responsibilities of a citizen. The aim of civil ethics is not political, nor to ensure the safety of a democratic constitution, but to enable citizens to reinforce the norms and ethics, in order to unit them and consolidate the human capital.
If we could analyse the three articles, we could admit that there are many points in common; the three of them consider morality as the framework of citizen’s responsibilities dictated by government in function of their political programs and orientation. As mentioned above in the three articles, the citizen has several social roles as accepting duties, participating to the good of the community, volunteering …
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