Civic Innovation Research Initiative

The Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI) is a research group exploring how organizations and individuals mobilize to change their societies. CIRI focuses on how they co-shape political, economic and cultural trends in pursuing the common interest whilst respecting differences.

CIRI looks beyond development theories and policy frameworks which tend to emphasize structure, or actors themselves that overly stress the key role of charismatic change agents. CIRI aims to build up a vibrant intellectual home that can take on board both academic and activist concerns around citizenship struggles and identities. This approach relates to civic action for generational and gender equality, for democratic rights, and for economic justice in development. 

CIRI’s analysis of and support for civic innovation recognizes the importance of knowledge production led by researchers and activists working to change the development arena.  Based at the ISS, with its history of original research and public engagement, the three core strands of CIRI look specifically at civic engagement in marketspolitics, and sexuality.