Policy & Politics vol 30 no 3 387 © The Policy Press, 2002 ISSN 0305 5736 English Mental health service users/survivors are subject to both mental health and disability policies, yet there appears to be an ambiguity in the approach of disability policy and disability politics to them. Mental health policy, which has always had powers to restrict their rights, is now increasingly associating mental health service users/survivors with ‘dangerousness’ and focusing on them as a threat to ‘public safety’. Mental health service users’/survivors’ organisations
Austerity has left local government struggling to meet the demands for local services. In this context, this book asks ‘what are the fundamental principles that should guide decision-making by local councillors and officers?’ It seeks to move the agenda from ‘what works?’ to ‘what should local government do?’ and ‘how will its policies impact on social justice and local democracy?’.
Reclaiming local democracy examines the politics of human need and argues that local government should provide a voice for those that lack power. It avoids the dry, familiar debate about what structures and powers local government should have, instead seeking to energise all concerned to re-engage with a political and ethical approach. Written in a persuasive and accessible way, the book examines how local government can develop active citizens and make a difference to the well-being of those in disadvantaged areas – truly ‘reclaiming local democracy’.
Combining theory and international practice, it will be relevant for councillors, policy officers and activists in the third sector, as well as academics and students in politics and social policy.
Reviving local democracy offers a vivid and persuasive critical examination of New Labour’s programme for the modernisation of local government, providing a balanced view of the democracy and participation debate. Since 1997, the Blair government has sought to mobilise popular participation through local referenda, new political structures, electoral reform, and the creation of powerful new elected mayors. Through these mechanisms it is hoped that the lack of public interest and persistently low election turnouts will be overcome.
The book draws on a wide range of new survey data to relate the crisis of local politics and governance to wider changes in the political culture. The author goes on to evaluate the government’s proposals to reverse decline, asking whether this programme of reform is likely to succeed. With the aid of a series of recent surveys of both public and councillor opinion, and the successful blending of historical and empirical analysis, she offers an assessment of the realities which the democratic renewal project will have to confront in its implementation.
The book is topical and timely, and highly accessible, and will appeal to students, those involved in local government, and anyone concerned to see local government become more representative, responsive, and open to popular participation.
Exploring unique survey and interview data on the personality characteristics of British politicians, this book provides a timely psychological analysis of those individuals who pursue political careers and how they represent their constituents once elected.
Focusing specifically on the Basic Human Values of more than 150 MPs as well as hundreds of local councillors, Weinberg offers original insights into three compelling questions: Who enters politics and how are they different to the general public? Do politicians’ personality characteristics matter for their legislative behaviour? Do voters really get the ‘wrong’ politicians?
Taking a fresh psychological approach to issues that are predominant in political science, this book casts new light on the human side of representative democracy.
How does gendered power work? How does it circulate? How does it become embedded? And most importantly, how can we challenge it?
Heather Savigny highlights five key traits of cultural sexism – violence, silencing, disciplining, meritocracy and masculinity – prevalent across the media, entertainment and cultural industries that keep sexist values firmly within popular consciousness.
She traces the development of key feminist thinkers before demonstrating how the normalization of misogyny in popular media, culture, news and politics perpetuates patriarchal values within our everyday social and cultural landscape. She argues that we need to understand why #MeToo was necessary in the first place in order to bring about impactful, lasting and meaningful change.
Political parties are crucial to British democracy, providing the foundations for mobilising voters. Their constituency branches are key links between voters and Parliamentary candidates and their activities require two vital resources – people and money. Much has been written on the decline of party membership but far less on money.
In this much-needed new book, Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie use the latest research and hitherto unpublished material to explore financial differences across the UK’s three main parties in the four years leading up to the 2010 General Election. They look at how much local parties raise for election campaigns and find that the more money candidates spend then, the better their performance. Analyses of their annual accounts, however, show that many local parties are unable to raise all of the money that they are entitled to spend on such campaigns. This reveals an unhealthy picture of grassroots party organisation in which the capacity to engage effectively with many voters is concentrated in a relatively small number of constituencies and is likely to remain so.
This timely and essential book will make a major contribution to the literature on British elections and parties, especially to continuing debates regarding party funding. It will make important reading for academics, students, politicians, civil servants and others interested in this topic.
From Attlee to the birth of New Labour, and the advent of Corbynism, this book gives a lively account of the ideological developments and dramas in the Labour Party in recent decades.
Batrouni delves into the totemic battles between hard and soft left, examining the destructive and creative elements of key periods of Labour’s ideological exhaustion and ideational confusion.
Providing powerful insights from interviews with some of the most influential thinkers, advisors and MPs in the party, he goes on to examine the phenomenal emergence of Corbynism, the impact of Brexit and what lies ahead for the party.
Why do democracies fall apart, and what can be done about it?
This book introduces students to the concept and causes of democratic decay in the modern world. Illustrating the integral link between public commitment to democratic norms and the maintenance of healthy democracies, it examines the key factors in decaying democracies, including:
• Economic inequality;
• Populist and authoritarian discourse;
• Declining belief in political institutions and processes.
Drawing on real-world developments, and including international case studies, the book outlines the extent to which there is a ‘democratic recession’ in contemporary politics and shows how transnational networks and technology are impacting on this development.
CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE 2015
Do women national leaders represent a breakthrough for the women’s movement, or is women’s leadership weaker than the numbers imply? This unique book, written by an experienced politician and academic, is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of how and why women in 53 countries rose to the top in the years since World War II. Packed with fascinating case studies detailing the rise to power of all 73 female presidents and prime ministers from around the world, from 1960 (when the first was elected) to 2010, the motives, achievements and life stories of the female top leaders, including findings from interviews carried out by the author, provide a nuanced picture of women in power. The book will have wide international appeal to students, academics, government officials, women’s rights activists and political activists, as well as anyone interested in international affairs, politics, social issues, gender and equality.
This book brings together leading figures in democratic reform and civic engagement to show why and how better state-citizen cooperation is necessary for achieving positive social change. Their contributions demonstrate that, while protest and non-state action may have their place, citizens must also work effectively with public bodies to secure sustainable improvements.
The authors explain why the problem of civic disengagement poses a major threat, highlight what actions can be taken, and suggest how the underlying obstacles to democratic cooperation between citizens and state institutions can be overcome across a range of policy areas and in varied national contexts.