Bettina von Lieres
University of Toronto
Department of Political Science
3359 Mississauga Road N.
Mississauga, ON, M5S2K3,
University of the Western Cape,
Political Studies Department,
Bellville, Cape Town, 7535
Bettina von Lieres is a lecturer in the University of Toronto in Canada and in the Political Studies Department at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. She was also the convenor of the “Deepening Democracy” working group of the Development Research Centre for Citizenship, Participation and Accountablity, as well as the convenor of a researcher/practitioner network project, the “Middle Spaces” project, funded by the Ford Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa. A political scientist by training, her research interests lie at the intersection of development studies and democratic theory, witha particular focus on citizen participation in the global south.
von Lieres, B & D, KahaneIDS Practice PaperHow can educators work together to enhance work on democracy and citizenship? This paper analyses the trajectory and ...How can educators work together to enhance work on democracy and citizenship? This paper analyses the trajectory and dynamics of the Teaching and Learning (T&L) group, an initiative that brought together educators from seven countries to address the challenges of developing and delivering courses on citizenship and democratising teaching and learning environments. Part of the Citizenship DRC, a wider research consortium that examined the dynamics of citizen participation in diverse contexts, the T&L group centred on peer-to-peer reflection, learning and support. Its innovative ways of working and success in developing a wide range of courses and trainings challenge expert-driven models of pedagogical development. They also point to the importance of transnational collaborations in enhancing curricula, courses and teaching methods that effectively support both learning about democracy and citizenship, and democratic teaching capacities.
von Lieres, B & L , PiperIDS Working Paper, Number 364This paper looks to explore and interrogate an important component of successful public participation cases which we ...This paper looks to explore and interrogate an important component of successful public participation cases which we term âdemocratic mediationâ. It is argued that, around the world, the practice of âdemocratic mediationâ is an increasingly common phenomenon in forms of engagement between citizens and public authority, which includes, but is not limited to the state as neo-liberal globalisation intersects with democratisation. This claim emerges from an analysis of a significant number of Citizenship Development Research Centre (CDRC) case-studies on recent forms of citizen participation in the global south. Further, despite some important differences, these forms of mediation share a common feature of activism by a relatively elite third party for the inclusion of the interests of marginalised groups in formal decision-making.
Coelho, VSP & B, von LieresIn V. Schattan Coelho & B. von Lieres (eds) Mobilizing for Democracy: Citizen Action and the Politics of Public Participation. London: Zed, 2010This chapter, available in full, provides an overview of this edited volume, which features a collection of new empir...This chapter, available in full, provides an overview of this edited volume, which features a collection of new empirical case studies from the South that demonstrate how forms of political mobilizations - such as protests, social participation, activism, litigation and lobbying - engage with the formal institutions of representative democracy in ways that are core to the development of democratic politics.
Cornwall, A, Robins, S & B, von LieresCitizenship DRC Synthesis Paper - DRAFTThis paper draws on case study research conducted by members of the DFID-funded Citizenship Development Research Cent...This paper draws on case study research conducted by members of the DFID-funded Citizenship Development Research Centre to explore instantiations of citizenship in different kinds of states, and to reflect what citizen engagement comes to imply in these contexts. Rather than seeking a unified definition of citizenship that covers all dimensions of human action, entitlement and belonging, we are interested in the everyday, and often highly contingent and improvisational, negotiations and performances through which people define and pursue their desires and aspirations. We suggest that an approach that explores diverse meanings and expressions of citizenship in different kinds of states can enrich our understanding of citizenship precisely because it proceeds less from normative claims or abstract ideals than from everyday encounters in particular contexts. Such an approach draws attention to the diverse ways in which particular subject-positions and forms of identification are articulated in the pursuit of concrete social and political projects. We begin by reviewing thinking on democratic citizenship in relation to the global South, and go on from there to dimensions and experiences of citizen engagement in different contexts.
Cornwall, A, Robins, S & B, von LieresThird World Quarterly, 29(6): 1069-86.Abstract: This paper by Steven Robins, Andrew Cornwall and Bettina von Lieres argues for an approach to researching c...Abstract: This paper by Steven Robins, Andrew Cornwall and Bettina von Lieres argues for an approach to researching citizenship and democracy that begins not from normative convictions, but from everyday experiences in particular social, cultural and historical contexts. The authors consider the ways in which the terms Ã«democracyÃ and Ã«citizenshipÃ have been used in the discourses and approaches taken within mainstream studies of citizenship and democracy, drawing attention to some of the conceptual blind spots that arise.
von Lieres, BIn A Cornwall & VSP Coelho (eds) Spaces for Change? The Politics of Citizen Participation in New Democratic Arenas. London: ZedDue to copyright restrictions, we can only share the first three pages of this chapter online. The book can be ordere...Due to copyright restrictions, we can only share the first three pages of this chapter online. The book can be ordered from Zed Books at www.zedbooks.co.uk/citizenship or purchased at the IDS bookstore.
In recent years there has been a proliferation of new democratic spaces for citizen participation in South Africa. These range from âinvitedâ spaces created by the government to spaces created by poor people themselves. Whereas the former are often set up in response to legal guarantees for citizen participation, the latter are initiated in response to the failure of the government to deliver services or fulfill promises, and to include citizens in decision-making. This chapter discusses two cases of grassroots citizenship engagement, in South Africaâs health and land sectors: the AIDS/HIV organization, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and citizen engagement around land politics.
von Lieres, B & D, KahaneIn A Cornwall & VSP Coelho (eds) Spaces for Change? The Politics of Citizen Participation in New Democratic Arenas. London: Zed.Due to copyright restrictions, we can only share the first three pages of this chapter online. The book can be ordere...Due to copyright restrictions, we can only share the first three pages of this chapter online. The book can be ordered from Zed Books at www.zedbooks.co.uk/citizenship or purchased at the IDS bookstore.
Robins, S & B, von LieresIDS Bulletin 35(2)This article explores the organisational practices and strategies of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an AIDS act...This article explores the organisational practices and strategies of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an AIDS activist social movement in South Africa. TAC, like other new social movements, draws on grassroots, bottom-up, network-based modes of organisation that operate simultaneously in diverse local, national and global spaces. The article argues that TAC provides examples of organisational practices that cut across institutional and non-institutional spaces, and that are capable of generating multiple relations to the state. In doing so, it has provided its members with opportunities to engage simultaneously in a variety of participatory spaces that allow for the articulation of new forms of citizenship from below.
Robins, S & B, von LieresUWC Working Paper, No. 4, Citizenship, Participation and Accountability seriesThis paper focuses on new communities and conceptions of citizenship and civic action promoted by two globally connec...This paper focuses on new communities and conceptions of citizenship and civic action promoted by two globally connected Cape Town-based NGOs and CBOs involved in struggles over access to land, housing and Aids treatment. The organisations discussed in the paper include the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an Aids activist group, and the South African Homeless Peopleâs Federation (SAHPF), a low-income housing association connected to networks of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a globally connected organisation based in 14 countries and including cities such as Bombay, Calcutta, Nairobi, Bangkok, Karachi and Bogota. The TAC is connected to groups such as Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders â MSF), Oxfam, Ralph Naderâs Consumer Technology Project, and a range of other international activist organisations. Like the TAC, the SAHPF is a mostly womenâs organisation that is involved in
a wide range of activities including savings clubs, income generation projects, community policing, Aids intervention and so on. The Mumbai-based womenâs savings collectives and the SAHPF are part of SDIâs global network of homeless peopleâs organisations that is connected through Federation members visiting each otherâs cities. This form of âhorizontal exchangeâ assists poor people exchange ideas through direct learning about savings schemes, housing, income generation projects and so on.