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Citizenship styles

12 July 2016

Insight into citizens in a changing society

Dutch society is characterized by a high degree of individualization, and a great variety of lifestyles have developed as a result. Citizens have also become more critical and vocal. How can you, as a policymaker, public relations official, or administrator remain in touch with what matters to citizens? In collaboration with the Future Government Communication Committee and the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), Motivaction has developed a method to ‘unlock’ citizens’ perceptions: Citizenship Styles.


What are Citizenship Styles?

The Citizenship Styles segmentation model provides insight into what motivates citizens and describes their relationship to society, government and politics. The citizenship styles are based on Motivaction's Mentality study, which has been conducted among Dutch citizens from the ages of 15 to 80 since 1997. We’ve identified four styles that describer a person’s citizenship: responsible, conscientious, pragmatist, and outsider. These types occur to varying degrees in different provinces and municipalities.


How does it work in practice?

Based on existing databases and insights, or via new research, Motivaction is able to determine the citizenship style for each group of citizens. If desired, questions may be added to this regarding specific topics, such as the use of facilities, social cohesion and sustainability. We also use this tool for vision development, structural sketches, and communications strategies, for example. The citizenship styles will provide you with insight into:

  • What matters to citizens and what motivates them
  • What their needs are
  • How they can become involved in the public domain
  • The most effective ways to address them


How can Citizenship Styles benefit you?

The Citizenship Styles tool not only provides insight into citizens’ opinions and their activities, but mostly what lies behind them. Which values serve as the basis for citizens’ motives, and what types of meanings do they assign the world around them? By taking these aspects into account in policy formation and communication, it becomes possible to better inform citizens, and thus reinforce the support base for the policies of and trust in government.


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