The Big Society debate

Does the 'Big Society' approach have a future?

Launched in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, the 'Big Society' is an integral part of the UK coalition Government. But can the idea of taking power away from the state and the radical transformation of public services to empower local communities really work?

Angus McCabe 

Angus McCabe

The 'Big Society' has become a key element of the new coalition Government. Whilst the term itself is new, and accompanied by the ‘new language’ of social action, there are continuities between current policy objectives and those of the previous Government.

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Professor Helen Sullivan 

Professor Helen Sullivan

The state has become unfashionable again. Following a brief flirtation with it as an agent for good under New Labour, the current financial crisis and the ideological preferences of the coalition mean that the state is now regarded at best as an outmoded way of meeting needs, and at worst a block to citizen action, business entrepreneurship and efficient service delivery.

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