Local democracy, civic engagement and community

From New Labour to the Big Society

By (author) Hugh Atkinson

Publication date:

30 May 2012

Length of book:

192 pages


Manchester University Press



ISBN-13: 9780719079115

This accessible book is about local democracy, civic engagement, political participation and community in Britain. It rejects the many pessimistic accounts that seek to dominate our political discourse with their talk of political apathy, community breakdown and selfish individualism The book focuses on local democratic politics in Britain over the last decade and a half, from the election of the New Labour government right up to the current Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. It includes an analysis of local democracy, civic engagement and participation across a range of policy areas and in the context of debates around accountability, legitimacy, sustainability, localism and the 'big society'. Drawing on a wide range of examples, it argues that local democracy is a vibrant terrain of innovation, civic engagement and participation, and dynamic community activity, with a wide variety of informal and formal activity taking place.
The book's insights will prove invaluable to any students, lecturers and local goverment officers interested in mapping the shifting terrain of contemporary local governance in England.