Civic participation is at the core of a cohesive, vibrant and democratic society. The extent and form of civic engagement, however, differs between regions and countries depending on factors such as the community’s culture and history of participation, and the nature of its political leadership. Moreover, not all types of civic participation contribute positively to cohesion and development: activities of radical groups on all sides of the political spectrum can have a detrimental effect on democratization and the promotion of equality and human rights. The challenge thus lies in promoting citizenship that is both active and tolerant.
This brief defines civic engagement and tolerance in the context of eastern Ukraine by identifying different citizenship types, from active to passive and from tolerant or intolerant. It then unpacks the characteristics and incentives of each of these groups in order to identify entry points for increasing the level of both active and tolerant engagement.