Citizenship Theory

A paper which explores the theoretical foundations of personalisation.

Author: Simon Duffy

Personalisation is not a theory nor is it a philosophy. At best it describes some important practical developments - at worst it is empty political rhetoric.

However, if we turn away from the rhetoric and examine the ideas that really inspired Individual Budgets, Self-Directed Support, Direct Payments and many of the other innovations associated with personalisation, we find they are all united in their effort to promote the citizenship of disabled people - and many other excluded groups.

In this paper it is argued that the idea of citizenship fills an important gap in social and philosophical theory. The experiences of disabled people are not well explained by theories from the Left or the Right. And importantly, their experiences are relevant to everyone.

Citizenship Theory argues that, by focusing on the experiences of disabled people and other excluded groups, we can achieve a much better account of social justice for everyone. In short, a fair society is a society that supports everyone to be a full citizen.


This paper formed the basis of an article which was published by the Journal of Social Work Practice. That article is available to download here.

The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Citizenship Theory © Simon Duffy 2010. 

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.


Paper | 09.04.10

Need for Roots, Self-Directed Support, social care, Global, Paper

Simon Duffy


President of Citizen Network

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