In this video clip and this audio podcast, Engin Isin exposes his research that concentrates on politics - how do people imagine, or fail to imagine, themselves as citizens.
Engin here challenges the conventional thinking that politics only occur in places such as parliaments, official bodies, governments. He suggests that everyday activities can be seen as political, and his study focuses precisely on what people do when they become political. He is particularly interested in the acts, the deeds by which people close the gap between citizenships and politics. For example, acts such the Saint Paul's cathedral occupation, wikileaks, have had major consequences in political life.
In the audio podcast, Engin expands further on the research he and his colleagues have undertaken. By studying various groups of people such as Kurdish people in Turkey or sex workers across Europe, the research shows that by being activists, these people reposition themselves as citizens and that they begin to take a new identity and acquire a new sense of engagement and belonging.
The overall research has thus three main implications:
- it challenges the conventional thinking about citizenships
- it informs public policy at the UK and EU level
- it provides a vocabulary for activists so they can reposition themselves