Category Archives: Big Society

Conflict is vital to meaningful citizen engagement

Is conflict a threat to democracy or a re-vivification of mass participation that democracy needs?  This was the question posed by Catherine Durose in her blog post last week. If people feel excluded from the decisions being made about their … Continue reading

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‘Big Society’: over before it begins?

In the last week, three incidents have highlighted the precarious state of the Tory-led Coalition government’s aspiration for the ‘Big Society’: First, Lord Wei – a life peer with an unpaid role in the Cabinet Office as ‘Big Society Tsar’ … Continue reading

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Citizen participation: building consensus or facilitating conflict?

Involving the community as a means of resolving seemingly intractable ‘wicked’ policy problems is now a long-standing pre-occupation of government not only in the UK, but across developed democracies. These objectives are underpinned by a positive view of community as … Continue reading

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Building the ‘Big Society’ – what role for local government?

The ‘Big Society’ agenda is the driving political vision of the coalition government as they seek to redefine and transform the relationship between citizens and the state. It is primarily being driven forward by key Conservative politicians around David Cameron … Continue reading

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Modernising Commissioning: Is the Big Society bringing any clarity to the debate?

In December 2010, the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office published its Green consultation Paper  ‘Modernising Commissioning: Increasing the role of charities, social enterprises, mutuals and cooperatives in public service delivery’ as part of their commitment to promote … Continue reading

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‘Ensuring’ not ‘Enabling’: a future vision for local government

Polly Toynbee writing recently in the Guardian highlighted the concern and potential dissent brewing in local government about the terms of the financial settlement following the Comprehensive Spending Review. Local government, one of the hardest hit areas of government spending, … Continue reading

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Towards the ‘Big Society’: what role for neighbourhood working?

 ‘Neighbourhood’ has been recognised as a space that citizens identify with, feel a sense of belonging and where their concerns are in sharpest relief. It is also an enduring concept giving a spatial focus to a range of policy areas. … Continue reading

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The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Local Government and Public Services

The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Local Government and Public Services, by Jo Richardson. The framework for public local service delivery and governance has shifted dramatically in recent years; this is in light of the recession and ensuing financial … Continue reading

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Big Society: Learning the Lessons from Hull

Prepared by: Dr Tim Brown, Director, Centre For Comparative Housing Research, De Montfort University, and Vanessa Walker, Director of Practice, Institute of Community Cohesion, Coventry University. There are many soundbites and much rhetoric on the ‘big society’. Organisations as varied … Continue reading

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