Where did we get to, and where do we go from here?
This book has departed from the expression of disbelief in the verdict that the contemporary world is entering a new phase of post-democracy. It has not questioned the symptoms of the malfunctioning of our contemporary democracies but its forms of diagnosis. Democracies, the starting assumption goes, cannot predict their own failure without at the same time reconfirming their commitment to democratic principles. Democracies cannot discontinue forms and practices of democratization. Such an account focuses
From fake news to infringement of privacy in digital spheres, the changing landscapes of media and public communication have completely transformed contemporary democracies in recent decades.
Disruptions of media functioning can be seen as evidence for a transition from democracy to post-democracy, but how plausible is this scenario? Using empirical evidence, the author asks how imminent the threat of the end of democracy is, and how it can be restored.
Exploring the creative and destructive ways individuals and groups make use of new digital and social media in democratic societies across the world, the book presents a much-needed critical theory of the public sphere as we enter the new digital age.
In complex contemporary societies social science has become increasingly interwoven into the whole fabric of governance. At the same time there is an increasing recognition that attempts to understand the social world which seek to mimic the linear approaches of the conventional ‘hard sciences’ are mostly useless given the complex systems character of society in all its aspects. This book draws on a synthesis of critical realism and complexity theory to examine how social science is applied now and how it might be applied in the future in relation to social transformation in a time of crisis. A central argument is that there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ science of the social and that a recognition of the inevitability of application imposes obligations on social scientists wherever they work which challenge the passivity of most in the face of inequality and injustice.
In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.
Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.
Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.
Over the past two decades politicians have delegated many political decisions to expert agencies or ‘quangos’, and portrayed the associated issues, like monetary or drug policy, as technocratic or managerial. At the same time an increasing number of important political decisions are being removed from democratic public debate altogether, leading many commentators to argue that they are part of a ‘crisis of democracy’, marking the ‘end of politics’.
Tracing the political uses a broad range of international case studies to chart the politicising and depoliticising dynamics that shape debates about the future of governance and the liberal democratic state. The book is part of the New perspectives in policy and politics series, and will be an important text for students of politics and policy, as well as researchers and policy makers.
Planning is a battleground of ideas and interests, perhaps more visibly and continuously than ever before in the UK. These battles play out nationally and at every level, from cities to the smallest neighbourhoods.
Marshall goes to the root of current planning models and exposes who is acting for what purposes across these battlegrounds. He examines the ideological structuring of planning and the interplay of political forces which act out conflicting interest positions.
This book discusses how structures of planning can be improved and explores how we can generate more effective political engagements in the future.
In this provocative history of parenting, Harry Hendrick analyses the social and economic reasons behind parenting trends. He shows how broader social changes, including neoliberalism, feminism, the collapse of the social-democratic ideal, and the ‘new behaviourism’, have led to the rise of the anxious and narcissistic parent.
The book charts the shift from the liberal and progressive parenting styles of the 1940s-70s, to the more ‘behavioural’, punitive and managerial methods of childrearing today, made popular by ‘experts’ such as Gina Ford and Supernanny Jo Frost, and by New Labour’s parent education programmes.
This trend, Hendrick argues, is symptomatic of the sour, mean-spirited and vindictive social norms found throughout society today. It undermines the better instincts of parents and, therefore, damages parent-child relations. Instead, he proposes, parents should focus on understanding and helping their children as they work at growing up.
The 2008 global economic crisis was unprecedented in living memory and its impact on economic and social life immense. Large-scale social policy interventions played a crucial role in helping to mediate the crisis, and yet the welfare state continues to come under attack. A new age of austerity, based more on politics than economics, is threatening to undermine the very foundations of the welfare state.
However, as this important book illustrates, there is still room for optimism - resistance to the logic of austerity exists within organisations and governments, and among peoples, demonstrating how essential social policies remain to human progress.
The second of a three-book series covering the post-2008 global economic crisis and the period of austerity, this volume draws together edited chapters from leading scholars engaged in the debate and will be equally suitable for academics and other researchers studying international and comparative social policy, as well as upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students.
ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.
In recent years, the ‘city region’ has seen a renaissance as the de facto spatial centre of governance for economic and social development.
Rich in case study insights, this book provides a critique of city-region building and considers how governance restructuring shapes the political, economic, social and cultural geographies of devolution. Reviewing the Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea Bay City Regions, Cardiff Capital Region and the North Wales Growth Deal, the authors address the tensions and opportunities for local elites and civil society actors.
Based on original empirical material, situated within cutting edge academic and policy debates, this book is a timely and lively engagement with the shifting geographies of economic and social development in Britain.
Leading governance theorist Jonathan S. Davies develops a rich comparative analysis of austerity governance and resistance in eight cities, to establish a conjunctural perspective on the rolling crises of neoliberal globalism.
Drawing on a major international study of eight cities, Davies employs Gramscian regime analysis to consider the consolidation, weakening and transformation of urban governance regimes through the age of austerity. He explores how urban governance shapes variations in austere neoliberalism, tackling themes including collaboration, dominance, resistance and counter-hegemony.
The book is a significant addition to thinking about how the era of austerity politics influences urban governance today, and the potential for alternative urban futures.