This article examines how citizenship can be deployed as a technology of conduct, and how it combines with the technique of empowerment in instituting the behavioural norms that constitute a neo-liberal social order. It conducts a detailed analysis of policy innovations in the Republic of Ireland, where children have recently been recognized as ‘active citizens’. This field of innovation is framed by the idea that children should be listened to and included in the decisions affecting their lives. The fact that this concerns children is important, because governing children is a way of acting upon the future. Moreover, governing the future is not a matter of reducing inequalities, but of ensuring the inclusion of all into Foucault’s neo-liberal ‘game between inequalities’. In cases of failure, the fault lies with the individual player, not with the game.