University of Oulu

Itkonen, A., Holma, K. (2022). From Reactivity to Sustainable Citizenship: Perspectives from Braidotti’s Philosophy. In: Holma, K., Kontinen, T. (eds) Learning, Philosophy, and African Citizenship. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

From reactivity to sustainable citizenship : perspectives from Braidotti’s philosophy

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Author: Itkonen, Anna1; Holma, Katariina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-07-05


In response to the polarisation and environmental crises of our times, relationally oriented vocabularies have arisen to challenge the ideal of an autonomous rational subject central to traditional humanism and liberal individualism. This chapter contributes to the theme of the book by linking citizenship to the new materialist philosopher Rosi Braidotti’s relational view of agency. The authors introduce two Braidotti-inspired modes of agency—sustainable citizenship and reactivity—and elucidate the latter in the context of populism. In sustainable citizenship, subjects are driven by affirmative relations, which form the basis for diverse and sustainable communities. Reactivity appears as its counterforce, where negative affects and discursive power—tied to unitary identities and fixed representations—diminish the subjects’ capacity to connect and relate to others. The chapter argues that sustainable citizenship calls for educational practices that allow for the critical examination of self-representations and offer tools to overcome habitual, dialectical modes of meaning-making.

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ISBN: 978-3-030-94882-5
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-94881-8
Pages: 97 - 113
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-94882-5_6
Host publication: Learning, Philosophy, and African Citizenship
Host publication editor: Holma, Katariina
Kontinen, Tiina
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.