Research on active citizenship tends to focus on the government perspective on initiatives from the public. In this paper we seek to redress the balance by focusing on the practice of citizens’ initiatives. Two citizens’ initiatives in the Netherlands are analyzed in terms of their evolution, their organization and the strategies adopted. Strategies are viewed here as the contingent product of a self-transforming organization, and a way of relating its internal process to the outside world. There is a mechanism at work in this interaction which enables initiators to connect with others successfully. Such interactions can therefore be seen as bonding processes, fueled by a process of self-transformation. Their ability to adapt and to mobilize people and institutions makes citizens’ initiatives plural in their manifestations and challenging for governance and steering.
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