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.
75 4 Democracy It is a truism of any discussion of democracy that our notion is heavily indebted to the ancient Greeks, and in particular to the Athenians. The word itself derives from demos and kratos, people and power, and is often translated as the rule of the people – or the rule of the poor, who formed the bulk of the people in ancient times. But this inheritance is more problematic than it seems. The term kratos itself can refer to might or strength, to acts of valour or violence, or to power or dominion. Who counts as the demos is equally fraught
The liberating promise of big data and social media to create more responsive democracies and workplaces is overshadowed by a nightmare of election meddling, privacy invasion, fake news and an exploitative gig economy.
Yet, while regressive forces spread disinformation and hate, 'guerrilla democrats' continue to foster hope and connection through digital technologies.
This book offers an in-depth analysis of platform-based radical movements, from the online coalitions of voters and activists to the Deliveroo and Uber strikes. Combining cutting edge theories with empirical research, it makes an invaluable contribution to the emerging literature on the relationship between technology and society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left inequalities in schools wider and uncertainty about the future greater. Now seems an appropriate time to think about the contribution schooling makes to the communities it serves and the country generally.
However, drawing on his recent research, Richard Riddell argues that the increasingly narrow focus of Education governance after 20 years of reform has made new thinking impossible and has degraded public life.
Nevertheless, he highlights new possibilities for democratic behaviour and the opening up of schooling to all it serves.
RESEARCH Democracy beyond hegemony Mark Purcell, firstname.lastname@example.org University of Washington, USA This article asks whether Laclau and Mouffe are the right theoretical partners for thinking about the project of democracy today. It concludes that they still have quite a lot to offer that project, but it also suggests we should be wary of embracing their thought too wholeheartedly, specifically because of their fondness for Gramsci and hegemony, and perhaps also, as a result, their willingness to engage the state and its institutions in the struggle for democracy
Using international perspectives and case studies, this book discusses the relationships between community development and populism in the context of today’s widespread crisis of democracy.
It investigates the development, meanings and manifestations of contemporary forms of populism and explores the synergies and contradictions between the values and practices of populism and community development.
Contributors examine the ways that the ascendancy of right-wing populist politics is influencing the landscapes within which community development is located and they offer new insights on how the field can understand and respond to the challenges of populism.
democracy, a political idea that is now at the very core of my work. It is ironic, then, that as I began thinking about this chapter, I realised that I did not remember very well what their idea of democracy was. Their way of conceiving of democracy, what they call a ‘radical and plural democracy’ ( Laclau and Mouffe, 2000 : xv), is not in the front of my mind anymore. That is partly due to age and to my failing memory, but it is more because other writers have stepped forward to occupy my attention when I think about democracy – writers like Rancière, Hardt and Negri
Introduction Western energy systems require rapid transformation in order to achieve goals for affordable, secure, low-carbon energy. Yet achieving transformative change is proving difficult for a wide range of reasons, including institutional, technological/technical and political barriers. One underpinning challenge is that people have become alienated from energy as an abstracted entity ( Hirsch and Jones, 2014 ). The notion of energy democracy ostensibly offers an opportunity to regain control and reconnect people with energy systems ( Van Veelen and Van
Young people are often at the forefront of democratic activism, whether self-organised or supported by youth workers and community development professionals. Focusing on youth activism for greater equality, liberty and mutual care – radical democracy – this timely collection explores the movement’s impacts on community organisations and workers. Essays from the Global North and Global South cover the Black Lives Matter movement, environmental activism and the struggles of refugees.
At a time of huge global challenges, youth participation is a dynamic lens through which all community development scholars and participants can rethink their approaches.
To govern ourselves or not to? This is the existential question of politics. With the rise of distrust, alienation, and extremism, it is all the more difficult to secure democratic self-rule when neither those in power nor the general public seem dependable when it comes to making decisions that can transform our lives, for better or worse.
In the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, Henry Tam explores what should be done to revive democracy. Presenting in a clear and accessible manner, he goes beyond the familiar ‘get the vote out’ ideas, to set out 9 key areas where reforms are necessary to ensure we can govern ourselves more effectively.
Against the suggestion that democracy has run its course, this book unpacks why democratic governance is indispensable and puts forward forty recommendations to help us avoid the twin threats of oppressive rule and debilitating chaos.