There is a widespread view that local democracy in Britain is in deep trouble and that people face a crisis of civic engagement and political participation. This book counterweighs the many negative accounts that seek to dominate the political discourse with talks on political apathy and selfish individualism. It commences with an examination of theoretical debates as to the meaning of local democracy and related concepts. The book looks at the policy agenda around local democracy in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979. It considers the available evidence on level of political participation and civic engagement by looking at eight themes. These include the state of formal politics, forms of civic engagement, community identity and the emerging world of the internet/world wide web. The book also looks at nine key aspects of the reform of local democracy over the last fifteen years, including local democracy and the New Labour reform agenda; the constitutional position of local government; and double devolution. It focuses on the so-called 'crisis of formal democracy' at the local level. The book ascertains the recent developments beyond the realm of elections, political parties and formal political institutions. It then concentrates on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of such services. Finally, the book discusses the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social.
a given order but also the power relations essential to it – something that the
‘local turn’ in humanitarian thinking has not done, despite discussion of
Without these perspectives informing research and policyagendas, whatever comes next is
unlikely to be very different for those previously robbed of power and voice. Mourning the end of
an order responsible for mass human suffering, while that suffering continues, then becomes an
indulgent act of self-delusion.
Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams
the importance of listening and responding to the demands that emerge from the migratory struggles of people, which otherwise largely go unheard (see Chapter 2 ). Indeed, one of the overarching arguments advanced by Reclaiming Migration is that a preventative policyagenda will continue to fail so long as people on the move are excluded from debates in the field of migratory politics. Providing opportunities for people to take or claim voice, when they are otherwise ignored, is thus critical. We have consequently developed our analysis through a sustained
in the subsequent chapters. Chapter 2 analyses the widespread view that we face a crisis of local
democracy with such evidence as low electoral turnout and declining
membership of political parties. However, this chapter will argue that a
more nuanced analysis of the available evidence points to a much complex
picture with a wide variety of both informal and formal political activity
taking place. Chapter 3 looks at the policyagenda around local democracy
in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979.
It provides a broad survey of
on how this might happen. The approach to
reinvigorating democracy in Victoria is top-down and centralised, and
driven by rather generic goals.
Under Steve Bracks, Labor went on to win three subsequent elections,
with Bracks standing down in 2007. Under John Brumby, Labor lost
the 2010 election. For most of the Bracks era, the GVT plan was the
springboard for the government’s policyagenda and its wider democratic renewal agenda.
The Bracks government’s approach to inclusive politics
The GVT Summit and subsequent plan initiated a broad democratic
movements towards mainstreaming. Considerable accomplishments have
occurred in expanding public policyagendas and establishing connections to mainstream policy. Although the bodies
of knowledge about women and gender have grown and
become differentiated, there is a remarkable convergence of
thought that builds an action momentum. Yet neither gender strategies nor visions have transformed institutional
missions. Ultimately, institutional missions must change,
for those missions set the stage for the institutional incentives and penalties that structure the opportunities
(Pratchett 1999). Second, the
themes and issues common to the case studies that fall outside this
framework are considered. Third, the emergence of the ‘Big Society’
agenda and its links with Labour’s approach to democratic renewal are
examined, the Big Society being the flagship policyagenda of David
Cameron’s Conservative Coalition government in the UK, by which
localism and civic engagement are to be reinvigorated. The Big Society
is partly inspired by the work of Phillip Blond, who has recently been
promoting this agenda in Australia. As explored below, while
The crisis and recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s impacted France as much as other western democracies, producing destabilising effects for the political system as a whole (Hernández & Kriesi, 2015 ; Morlino & Raniolo, 2017 ). Austerity policies were adopted in response to the financial crisis, but inevitably redefined the domestic policyagenda with quite remarkable consequences on electoral behaviour and citizens’ satisfaction with politics as well as on governments’ strategies in building
Germany: fragmented structures in a
Introduction: preferences of a tamed power2
Germany’s political class is marked by a positive and constructive attitude
towards European integration. The main objective of European policy
was and still is to achieve effective and democratic European co-operation
and integration.3 All governments and the vast majority of political
parties contrive their general European policyagenda around the fundamental aim of far-reaching integration towards some kind
teaching and nursing, have been reframed as higher education studies.
This chapter explores the significance of the possible contribution by universities to social inclusion and active citizenship. It notes the influence of different
policyagendas and acknowledges the insights of other studies. However, it draws
particularly on the learning from the PURE studies across several regions to
highlight the different kinds of contributions which can be made by universities.
Several issues which undermine the potential effectiveness of these initiatives are