Open Access

"Golden" Customers and "Bronze" Citizens in CEE Countries

NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy's Cover Image
NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy
Citizens vs. Customers, Editors: Steven Van de Walle, Isabella Proeller and Laszlo Vass


During the Soviet era, the word "citizen" was strongly connected to the existing state-controlled communist party system. "Citizenship" symbolized the ideal Soviet citizen with loyalty, duty and self-sacrifice to the existing order. The new word "customer" appeared together with democratization, freedom and market. Being customer was the realization of both democracy and the capitalist ideology. Customership emerged as a concept distinct from citizenship, and it helped to fill the ideological vacuum in CEE countries. The centrality of consumerism and abandoned citizenship are aspects that might characterize the transformed former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe more than one might expect.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration