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Changing local governance, changing citizens

Changing local governance, changing citizens

Catherine Durose
Stephen Greasley
Liz Richardson
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  • Book Info
    Changing local governance, changing citizens
    Book Description:

    The relationship between citizens and local decision makers is a long standing policy pre-occupation and has often been the subject of debate by politicians across parties. Recent governments have sought to empower, activate and give responsibility to some citizens, while other groups have been abandoned or ignored. Drawing on extensive up-to-date empirical work by leading researchers in the field, Changing local governance, changing citizens aims to explain what debates about local governance mean for local people. Questions addressed include: what new demands are being made on citizens and why? Which citizens are affected and how have they responded? What difference do changing forms of local governance make to people's lives? The book explores governance and citizenship in relation to multiculturalism, economic migration, community cohesion, housing markets, neighbourhoods, faith organisations, behaviour change and e-democracy in order to establish a differentiated, contemporary view of the ways that citizens are constituted at the local level today. Changing local governance, changing citizens provides a pertinent and robustly empirical contribution to current debates amongst policy makers, academics, practitioners and local communities about how to respond to this changing policy framework. It will be of interest to post-graduate students and academic researchers in politics, public and social policy, sociology, local government and urban studies, as well as policy makers and practitioners.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-219-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    Gerry Stoker

    Unlike most UK citizens, I do spend many hours reflecting on the details of our governance structures and processes. What drives me to these issues, and gives them great importance for me, is a concern about how enfeebled citizens feel about their engagement with our political system and more broadly their lives in neighbourhoods and communities. Over the last decade and more I have worked with colleagues from Local Governance Research Unit, De Montfort University and the Institute for Political and Economic Governance, University of Manchester on issues of citizen engagement. I know the depth of understanding and insight they...

  2. Preface
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
    Liz Richardson
  3. ONE Changing local governance, changing citizens: introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Catherine Durose, Stephen Greasley and Liz Richardson

    Renegotiating the roles of citizens and their relationships to public governance have been policy preoccupations of New Labour during its period in office. As Clarke (2005: 447) observes: ‘at different points, citizens have been activated, empowered, and made the subjects of responsibilities as well as rights’. This is not just a New Labour fixation; Cameron’s Conservatives have also been interested in the limits of state action and the scope of personal responsibility.Changing local governance, changing citizensbrings together recent empirical analyses of this renegotiation in a variety of contexts.

    The recent efforts to remodel the citizen–governance relation are...

  4. TWO Citizen governance: where it came from, where it’s going
    (pp. 13-30)
    Peter John

    Democratic theory presents different conceptions of the role of the citizens as policy makers.¹ At one extreme is the classical ideal of active citizens, who directly participate in public decisions in a face-to-face context alongside their peers; at the other end of the spectrum is the Schumpeterian elitist conception, whereby relatively passive individuals choose between different elites that compete for the vote, leaving experts in charge of day-to-day affairs between elections. It is probably the case that the practice of a democracy never reaches either extreme; all political systems have some direct forms of participation built into them as well...

  5. THREE ‘Neighbourhood’: a site for policy action, governance … and empowerment?
    (pp. 31-52)
    Catherine Durose and Liz Richardson

    ‘Neighbourhood’ is a longstanding concept in public policy, with numerous initiatives and policy directives focusing on ‘neighbourhood’ being part of the policy agenda from the 1960s onwards. The ‘neighbourhood’ has re-emerged under New Labour as an organisational anchor for the promotion of planned change, a site for local governance and latterly as a site for encouraging more active citizenship. The concept of ‘neighbourhood’ has achieved significant normative appeal and resonance in public policy. The new governance and policy spaces created at the neighbourhood level, particularly under the reforms introduced by New Labour, offer unprecedented opportunities to reshape democracy, decision making...

  6. FOUR Urban housing market restructuring and the recasting of neighbourhood governance and community
    (pp. 53-70)
    James Rees

    Housing has long been recognised as crucial in influencing patterns of social interaction and community formation in the UK. The late 1990s witnessed the growth of a stark national imbalance with ‘overheated’ housing markets in the South of England and ‘low demand’ for housing in parts of the North. The policy response to the issue of low demand was to create a Housing Market Renewal (HMR) programme, whose central task was to restore sustainability to inner urban housing markets. The approach adopted by most of the nine HMR ‘Pathfinders’ was to seek totransformaffected neighbourhoods – essentially a process...

  7. FIVE Citizen aspirations: women, ethnicity and housing
    (pp. 71-90)
    Bethan Harries and Liz Richardson

    Housing is one of the key goods that citizens consume and which fundamentally affects their lives and well-being. The provision and supply of housing in the UK is largely market-led, but local governance institutions play a key role in shaping supply. Decisions about what sort of housing is provided, for whom and where, are being made by local governance actors. This chapter explores what and how data is collected in order to make those decisions, and questions whether this intelligence matches what citizens themselves want. What is at stake for governance and citizens is whether major investment in a critical...

  8. SIX Can we promote cohesion through contact? Intergroup contact and the development of community cohesion
    (pp. 91-110)
    Matthew J. Goodwin

    Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in the effects of immigration and increased ethno-cultural diversity. As in countries elsewhere, in the UK policy makers and practitioners face a number of challenges that are multidimensional in nature. In the wider national and international context, new migration patterns, rapid demographic change and the arrival of super-diversity highlight the evolving nature of diversity in contemporary Britain and raise important questions over the extent to which local authorities are able to bring together increasingly diverse and often transient groups around a set of shared values and sense of belonging. Linked closely to...

  9. SEVEN New migrants, citizenship and local governance: ‘Poles’ apart?
    (pp. 111-134)
    Leila Thorp

    ‘I work, I pay my taxes, I have a right to live here like everybody else.’ (Polish migrant woman interviewed by Rageh Omaar for Channel 4Dispatches: Immigration: the inconvenient truth, 21 April 2008)

    ‘Four out of five migrants take more from economy than they put back’ (Headline of article by James Slack,Daily Mail, 29 August 2006)

    The question as to whether new migrants have a right to be engaged in British politics and society on an equal basis has been hotly debated in the media. This chapter moves away from the normative positions behind these headlines to consider...

  10. EIGHT Citizens of faith in governance: opportunities, rationales and challenges
    (pp. 135-156)
    Rachael Chapman

    Debates about the role and place of faith in the public realm are reemerging in light of contestation surrounding the decline of religion predicted by secularisation theses. Indeed there is evidence suggesting that the interface between the state and citizens of faith and their communities is changing and that faith groups are gaining increased influence and prominence in the public domain within, what has been termed, the post-secular society (Habermas, 2006). As part of this, new opportunities for faith participation in the public realm have emerged, particularly from the early 1990s onwards. These include representation on partnership bodies, consultations and...

  11. NINE Citizens’ reflections on behaviour change policies
    (pp. 157-174)
    Rebecca Askew, Sarah Cotterill and Stephen Greasley

    Balancing state intervention and personal responsibility is one of the enduring challenges of public policy. Controversies around the causes and remedies of deprivation, the regulation of public behaviour, the provision of public services and the solutions to collective problems all revolve, to some extent, around finding an appropriate balance between government activism and individual responsibility. One current manifestation of this debate in public policy focuses on attempts to engender ‘behaviour change’ in a diverse range of policy areas. Although behaviour change policies are not new, there appears to be a momentum in the current effort to turn broad policy discourse...

  12. TEN Every child’s voice matters?
    (pp. 175-192)
    Harriet Churchill

    The publication ofEvery child matters(DfES, 2003) began a radical reform of children’s services in England and Wales. The reforms were driven by concerns to improve child protection systems and children’s outcomes, particularly among the poorest children. As a result children’s services have undergone major institutional reform. Local education and social care authorities have been reorganised into ‘children’s authorities’ and new structures seeking to improve accountability and interagency working have been introduced. Within these governance arrangements, authorities have been expected to involve children and young people (DfES, 2003), initially in terms of consulting service users and more recently in...

  13. ELEVEN e-citizenship: reconstructing the public online
    (pp. 193-210)
    Rabia Karakaya Polat and Lawrence Pratchett

    The internet and other new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are not intuitively associated with promoting concepts of localism. Indeed, it is a defining feature of these technologies that they are global in their potential and generally uncoupled from localities in their application. It is as easy to access a web page, send an email or meet someone insecond lifefrom another continent, as it is to correspond online with a neighbour. In this respect, the internet and its related technologies are a major threat to notions of the local, and particularly to any idea of local citizenship. New...

  14. TWELVE Conclusion
    (pp. 211-224)
    Catherine Durose, Stephen Greasley and Liz Richardson

    The picture this collection paints is of a series of genuine attempts by different sorts of decision makers to fundamentally change the way that local areas are governed. The changes are designed to draw citizens in more closely towards the local state. The chapters illustrate that there are high stakes for decision makers in changing local governance in these ways. The public sector believes that it will not be able to govern effectively without the cooperation and active involvement of citizens. Reform is difficult, however, and governance stakeholders, particularly at the local level, do not have the capacity or resources...