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Understanding the Lived Experiences of Persons With Disabilities in Nine Countries : Active Citizenship

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Over the last three decades, a number of reforms have taken place in European social policy with an impact on the opportunities for persons with disabilities to be full and active members of society. The policy reforms have aimed to change the balance between citizens’ rights and duties and the opportunities to enjoy choice and autonomy, live in the community and participate in political decision-making processes of importance for one’s life.

How do the reforms influence the opportunities to exercise Active Citizenship? This volume presents the findings from the first cross-national comparison of how persons with disabilities reflexively make their way through the world, pursuing their own interests and values. The volume considers how their experiences, views and aspirations regarding participation vary across Europe.

Based on retrospective life-course interviews, the volume examines the scope for agency on the part of persons with disabilities, i.e. the extent to which men and women with disabilities are able to make choices and pursue lives they have reasons to value. Drawing on structuration theory and the capability approach, the volume investigates the opportunities for exercising Active Citizenship among men and women in nine European countries.

The volume identifies the policy implications of a process-oriented and multi-dimensional approach to Active Citizenship in European disability policy. It will appeal to policymakers and policy officials, as well as to researchers and students of disability studies, comparative social policy, international disability law and qualitative research methods.


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