Timothy Heppell
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The politics of depoliticisation
The Big Society narrative
in Cameron
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Chapter 4 builds upon the discussion in chapter 3 which had focused on economic decline under Labour and how the Conservatives attempted to exploit this. Chapter 4 will identify how this was aligned to a wider critique of Labour based around social decline. It will consider how the broken economic and social policy agendas of Labour were used by the Conservatives to justify a shift away from Big Government, and towards their new governing strategy of the Big Society. The chapter will provide a critique of the Big Society, and the cynicism it provoked within Conservative ranks, before arguing that it should be seen within the context of depoliticisation. Chapter 4 will imply that the Big Society slogan was a rhetorical device for Cameron – i.e. it masked an ideologically motivated strategy to adjust the balance between the state and society. Therefore, chapter 4 will argue that the Big Society narrative should be seen within the context of (a) shifting public expectations of what the state should be responsible for, and (b) limiting the extent to which the state can be blamed.

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The politics of modernisation and manipulation


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