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Differential citizenship in the shadow state


State restructuring through decentralization, privatization, and related processes has prompted the growth of the non-profit sector as a `shadow state' increasingly responsible for social service delivery and community development. In this context, the question arises as to how citizenship, defined as inclusion in a polity through the distribution of rights and resources, is realized within the shadow state. If non-profit organizations are assuming functions of the state but access to the shadow state is unevenly distributed, the result may be selective disenfranchisement or differential citizenship. This paper examines the nature of differential access to citizenship within the shadow state by looking at the practices and contexts of non-profit community development corporations (CDCs) in the city of Newark, New Jersey. The shadow state is affected by structural and contextual influences including financial, policy, and political factors that produce differential organizational capacity, uneven spatial coverage, client selectivity, inadequate program support, unrecognized need, and unconsidered clients' preferences. These contextualized practices in turn result in differential access to citizenship in the shadow state. Solutions to the problem of differential citizenship require improvements in the structural and contextual conditions influencing the scope and capacity of the non-profit sector.

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Lake, R.W., Newman, K. Differential citizenship in the shadow state. GeoJournal 58, 109–120 (2002).

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  • citizenship
  • community development
  • non-profit sector
  • shadow state