Citizenship has gained considerable popular currency in development and is increasingly being used to represent its objectives and outcomes. The popular conceptualisations of citizenship have not remained unaffected by neo-liberalism, which has established itself firmly as the dominant development framework. In mapping the neo-liberal influences in conceptualisations and expressions of citizenship – evidenced in the work of 11 NGOs in India – the present article interrogates its limitations and effects on development outcomes. The article calls for the need to leverage the inherent plurality of citizenship more substantively by infusing the discourse of rights.
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