I would say that as long as there is a risk of power being abused, the ethics of citizenship have to be practiced. I am not certain that there ever is a "safe" time when political power is concerned. There is always a risk of abuse, almost a moment when individual rights are encroached upon, and always a moment when the ethics of citizenship are needed. I would probably also argue that the notion of a "mangerialist" government makes it imperative for citizens to be aware of their rights and be vigilant. Governments or political orders that try to pass themselves off as custodial or "managers" do so to earn trust on the part of the citizens, a trust that allows them to move past "managers" into realms where abuse can be demonstrated.
The ethics of citizenship never go out of style. At a point in the world's history where liberal democracy has, for better or worse "won out," the need to be vigilant about governmental control and practices is essential. In this light, citizens must always be protective of their country, wary of their government, and force it to represent their interests in the very best of ways. I am not sure any government succeeds when citizens are not aware of their rights and lack the basic ethic of citizenship.