The New Citizenship

Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service


Craig A. Rimmerman

Fourth Edition • July 1, 2010 • 240 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813344577 • $32.00 USD$41.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813391922 • $22.99 USD$22.99 CAN

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Why do so many Americans fail to participate in their communities’ affairs? What role should the citizenry play in our political system? In addressing these concerns, this revised and updated text evaluates the dilemma of participation, civility, and stability at a time when civic indifference is a national problem. In addition to outlining the sources of this indifference, The New Citizenship suggests ways in which Americans can conquer their apathy toward government.

In this fourth edition, author and Dilemmas in American Politics series editor Craig A. Rimmerman provides new material on ACORN, the 2008 presidential election, the Obama presidency, and the impact of these recent events for college students and their conceptions of participation and citizenship.


Craig A. Rimmerman is professor of public policy and political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and editor of Westview’s Dilemmas in American Politics series. His books include The Lesbian and Gay Movements (Westview Press).

1. Introduction to the Core Dilemma
2. Theoretical Perspectives on the New Citizenship
3. Civic Indifference in Contemporary American Politics
4. Civility, Stability, and Foundations for the New Citizenship
5. Contemporary Reflections on the New Citizenship
6. Service Learning and the New Citizenship

This readable, engaging book addresses and urgent concern of our times, the decline of participation of college students in the democracy. Readers will come away with insight into both traditional and new forms of democratic participation and their appeal for the next generation. This an invaluable resource for faculty and students interested in American politics, history, social movements and civic engagement. Any faculty member teaching a service-learning course in any discipline will find it helpful for thinking through their course strategy and for civic reflection with their students.

— Elizabeth L. Hollander, Executive Director, Campus Compact

A helpful first step in making political science courses relevant to our students once again. It is definitely worth considering for classroom adoption. — American Political Science Review

Craig Rimmerman is among the few political scientists who both examine problems and offer solutions. The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, and Service draws upon the insights of political theorists and practitioners, assesses present-day participatory democracy, and offers recommendations for its improvement. This is a book that invites readers to learn—and then to take action.

— MaryAnne Borrelli, Director, Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, Connecticut College

At few times in our history have we needed more understanding of the relationship of citizenship to a healthy democracy as we do now. Craig Rimmerman has done a masterful job in challenging us to think about the means to citizenship, but more importantly, the ends of sustained and enlightened civic engagement.

— Suzanne W. Morse, Ph.D., Executive Director, Pew Partnership for Change

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