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'Before the 2010 General Election, David Cameron placed the "Big Society" at the heart of his efforts to rebuild Britain's "broken society". The essays in this volume probe the historical origins of the concept and seek to evaluate it in the light of both historical and contemporary evidence. They raise profound questions about the provenance of the "Big Society" and its relevance to contemporary social concerns. They should be of interest to anyone who cares about the past, present or future of British social policy.' Bernard Harris, University of Southampton, UK'There is nothing new about the notion of a Big Society. This book combines historical scholarship, international research and grassroots experience to shine a critical spotlight on the rhetoric behind the coalition government's big idea.' Bill Jordan, University of Plymouth, UK'Armine Ishkanian and Simon Szreter's fascinating book provides important insights into the way political elites use slogans and imagery to sway public opinion on social policy issues. This highly original work will be a major scholarly resource for years to come.' James Midgley, University of California, Berkeley, USThe expert contributors to this detailed yet concise book collectively raise questions about the novelty of the Big Society Agenda, its ideological underpinnings, and challenges it poses for policymakers and practitioners.The book is divided into two sections, history and policy, which together provide readers with a historically grounded, internationally informed, and multidisciplinary analysis of the Big Society policies. The introduction and conclusion tie the strands together, providing a coherent analysis of the key issues in both sections. Various chapters in this study examine the limitations and consider the challenges involved in translating the ideas of the Big Society agenda into practice.By drawing on international examples, from developed and developing countries in order to analyse and discuss Big Society policies, this book will prove invaluable for students, academics and policymakers.
This report, which builds on previous reports by PASC, warns that the Big Society project is hampered by the lack of a clear implementation plan, leading to public confusion about the policy agenda, eighteen months into this administration. PASC has yet to see how the government will engage these charities and voluntary groups who wish to do so to deliver public services: the 'little society' rather than big business and 'Tesco' charities. Government must address the barriers such bodies experience in the contracting and commissioning system, which means developing a plan to address roles, tasks, responsibilities and skills in Whitehall departments. PASC concludes there are two major practical steps Government must take. Firstly they must create a single Big Society Minister, who has a cross-cutting brief, to help other Ministers to drive through this agenda once they begin reporting progress against the aims of Open Public Services White Paper, from April 2012. Secondly they need to implement an impact assessment, to be applied to every Government policy, statutory instrument, and new Bill, which answers the simple question: "what substantively will this do to build social capital, people power, and social entrepreneurs?" PASC says early examples in practice like the Work Programme have left service providers such as the charitable sector - who would play a major role in the Big Society - with serious reservations. The danger is that big contractors and the largest charities continue to dominate at the expense of small and local providers. EU contracting rules need to be revised and smaller providers should be consulted on the legislative and bureaucratic barriers. There needs to be a cultural shift in Whitehall departments
This book argues that the 'Big Society' concept is, in a real sense, more Welsh than English. It contends that Wales can add value to the development of big society ideas in practice and at the same time renew its own economic life, identity and traditions. -- Welsh Books Council
This book provides concrete examples of the ways in which shifting academic debates, policy and political approaches have impacted on a specific place over the past 30 years. It offers a critical analysis of the history, politics and social geography of the high profile London Borough of Haringey, in the decades prior to the 2011 Tottenham riots. The Haringey case study acts as a lens through which to explore the evolution of theoretical and policy debates about the relationship between local institutions and the communities they serve. Focusing on the policy areas of planning and regeneration, it considers the local implementation and outcome of central government strategies that have sought to achieve such accountability and responsiveness through community participation strategies. It examines how the local authority responded to central government aspirations for greater community involvement in planning, in the 1970s, and regeneration, from the late 1980s onwards, before looking in detail at the implementation of New Labour neighbourhood renewal and local governance policy in the borough. In doing so, the book provides a longitudinal case study on how various central government community empowerment agendas have played out at a local level. It offers important lessons and indicates how they might work more effectively in future.
This book provides the historical background to the rise of the Big Society. Voluntarism has evolved over the last hundred years to adapt to changing circumstances, drawing up new agendas, tackling old problems, and acting as an alternative to state provision and as a catalyst for further government action.
Faced with falling social cohesion governments have sought to revitalise society by trying to reconstruct local communities, civil society and citizenship. As a result, civil society is increasingly brought within the realm of public management, subject to accountability and embedded in hierarchies the impact and origins of which this book explores
The politics of civil society is an original, thought provoking analysis which challenges one-dimensional neoliberal thinking about civil society, and seeks to rediscover its radical roots. The original edition shifted the scholarly debate onto the new ground, offering an accessible and compelling analysis of one of the central issues of our times. In the second, revised edition of this indispensable book, the author looks behind 'the mirror of power' to discover the reality of civil society - or 'Big Society', as it has become known. He finds not one but three forms of civil society: radical, liberal and conservative. In complex interplay between state and civil society, the author argues that citizens contend for power through civil society. This is both an age-long pursuit dating from antiquity and a contemporary democratic struggle between competing visions of modernity that determines the 'real' in politics, as experienced by the citizens. The book will have wide appeal to a broad cross-disciplinary audience.
This book contains a collection of peer reviewed papers presented at the ninth biennial Modern Studies in Property Law conference held at the University of Southampton in March 2012. It is the 7th volume to be published under the name of the conference. The conference and its published proceedings have become an established forum for property lawyers from around the world to showcase current research in the discipline. This collection reflects both the breadth of modern research in property law and its international dimensions. Incorporating a keynote address by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, retired Justice of the Supreme Court, on 'The Saga of Strasbourg and Social Housing,' a number of chapters reveal the bourgeoning influence of human rights in property law. Other contributions illustrate an enduring need to question and explore fundamental concepts of the subject alongside new and emerging areas of study. Collectively the chapters demonstrate the importance and relevance of property research in addressing a wide range of contemporary issues.
Drawing on a wide range of up-to-date research, Employment Relations under Coalition Government critically examines developments in UK employment relations during the period of Conservative-Liberal Democrat government between 2010 and 2015, against the background of the 2007-08 financial crisis, subsequent economic recession and in the context of the primacy accorded to neo-liberal austerity. Contributions cover a series of important and relevant topics in a rigorous, yet accessible manner: labour market change and the rise of zero-hours contracts and other forms of precarious employment; policy development relating to young people’s employment; the coalition’s welfare-to-work agenda; its programme of employment law reform and its approach to workplace equality and health and safety; labour migration; the experience of the trade unions under the coalition and their responses; and developments in employment relations in the public services. This book addresses the broader issues relating to the coalition period, such as the implications of political and regulatory change for employment relations, including the greater devolution of powers to Scotland and Wales, and locates UK developments in comparative perspective. The book concludes with an assessment of the prospects for employment relations in the aftermath of the May 2015 Conservatives election victory.
An introduction to political parties in Britain which offers an examination of the main parties' individual characteristics (including policy, organisation and support) and explains the impact of smaller parties.
It is generally agreed that the idea of the "big society" has not gripped the public imagination, and is seen by many as simply a cover for privatisation. Nevertheless the basic idea of the "big society," that ordinary people should somehow be more involved in society than they are, and decisions should be made in a way they can influence, is a good one. It would also fit into the "One Nation" concept and sit comfortably with the ideas and outlook of many Labour voters. So I am going to explore here exactly what a socialist vision of the "big society" would be like. I will try and do it in a way that makes sense to the ordinary voter, rather than as a theoretical concept. We need to think carefully whether the "Big Society" concept has any relevance to the programme Labour would want to put before the electorate. Many Labour voters are community activists already, and might feel that the "Big Society" simply describes what they are already doing, and they would simply like more resources to go on doing it. No need to get tied up in meaningless mumbo-jumbo. They would certainly have a point. There has also been a thoughtful debate in Labour circles about food banks. Many people are appalled that we need food banks in the 21st century, but it is often Labour activists who organise and support them. There is admiration for the willingness of people to help but disgust at the policies which made them necessary. Thoughtful policy makers like John Cruddas have argued that Labour must find a way to mobilise this community spirit. This book is also a contribution to the debate ont the ideas and programme Labour is going to present to the electorate at the next election. Opinion polls show that Labour has a clear lead, but most agree it appears "soft" in that it could evaporate before the next election if challenged by circumstances which do not yet know about. What Labour appears to lack are clear basic ideas of its policies, in short what it is "all about."
Since the 1970s the public commitment to social solidarity between citizens through comprehensive provision of welfare has been eroded by the imperatives of international markets. In this volume the problems posed to public intervention are analyzed. The contributors compare and evaluate how different countries have dealt with these challenges.
Aiming to furnish the reader with the historical data to engage with the debates surrounding the Cameron government's 'Big Society' and civil society, this book gives the reader a greater and more informed historical consciousness of how the NGO sector has grown and influenced.
Food and drink has been a focal point of modern social theory since the inception of agrarian capitalism and the industrial revolution. From Adam Smith to Mary Douglas, major thinkers have used key concepts such as identity, exchange, culture, and class to explain the modern food system. Food, Politics, and Society offers a historical and sociological survey of how these various ideas and the practices that accompany them have shaped our understanding and organization of the production, processing, preparation, serving, and consumption of food and drink in modern societies. Divided into twelve chapters and drawing on a wide range of historical and empirical illustrations, this book provides a concise, informed, and accessible survey of the interaction between social theory and food and drink. It is perfect for courses in a wide range of disciplines.
When the Coalition Government came to power in 2010 in claimed it would deliver not just austerity, as necessary as that apparently was, but also fairness. This volume subjects this pledge to critical interrogation by exposing the interests behind the policy programme pursued and their damaging effects on class inequalities. Situated within a recognition of the longer-term rise of neoliberal politics, reflections on the status of sociology as a source of critique and current debates over the relationship between the cultural and economic dimensions of social class, the contributors cover an impressively wide range of relevant topics, from education, family policy and community to crime and consumption, shedding new light on the experience of domination in the early 21st Century.
Is there untapped talent in our society? Can it be nurtured and harnessed for the benefit of all? What does history teach us? Are there good examples today? Finally, can we create a big society? This book, based on many years experience, argues that it need not be and that there is good historical precedent for such a society.
Specialists in Conservative Party politics examine the effectiveness of the Cameron led coalition. The contributors examine Cameron as leader and Prime Minister; the Conservatives' modernisation strategy; the level of ideological coherence in 'liberal conservatism'; and the impact of the coalition on a range of policy areas and on 'New' Labour.

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