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Society

The UK has one of the most centralised states in the developed world and one of the more disaffected and politically estranged populations in Europe. We hold our leaders in contempt, but despair of doing anything for ourselves or for our community. This dysfunction at every level of society stems from the collapse of our social relations and personal foundations.

Society

Society (Cont.)

We are becoming an increasingly fragmented and atomised society, and this has deep and damaging consequences for our families, our communities and our polity.

At the most basic level, the break-up of families damages everyone, but hurts the very poorest first and worst. Too many children at the bottom of our society are at a significant disadvantage, as too much is borne by lone parents who are trying to do more and more with less and less. We know that the poorer you are, the less connected with your wider society you tend to be and the more removed from the traditional resources of community and kin. Bereft of the institutions and structures that could help them, and cut-adrift from traditions and cultures that once taught skills of survival and self-advancement, too many families and communities on low household incomes are deeply unstable and are facing seemingly insurmountable problems alone, unadvised and unassisted.

We believe that power should be devolved to the lowest appropriate level. Public services and neighbourhoods should be governed and shaped from the ‘bottom up’, by families and communities and their associations. Neighbourhoods need to be served by a range of providers that incorporate and empower their inhabitants. Moving away from a top-down siloed approach to service delivery, which results in departmental conflicts and different goals being pursued, such activity should be driven by a holistic and integrated vision of overall local need, which is thereby able to ascertain and address the most challenging factors that prevent human flourishing. We believe that neither state bureaucracy nor privatisation of public services can achieve an integrated approach that is attentive both to whole persons and the life of communities considered in the round. Instead, we need new institutions that reflect the priority of direct and inter-personal human relationships. Not only is such a method more humane, it is also likely to be the only approach that works.

Society Workstreams

Publications

Devolution for Greater Manchester

Respublica recently published its report calling for Greater Manchester to have control over the £22 billion it spends each year on public services, with accompanying financial flexibilities. The report reasons...

The Future of Scotland: Enhanced devolution is the right path for Scotland

As we move into the last 200 days before Scotland’s big decision is taken on 18th September, something has happened to the debate in Scotland. Suddenly the volume has been...

ResPublica’s #DevoManc report adopted by Government

Greater Manchester and Govt reach trailblazing agreement, based on ResPublica’s report DevoMax – DevoManc....

Manchester City Council
’21st Century Healthcare: Technology, participation and medical innovation’ with the Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman MP
11th February 2016

Building on the success of its previous work on Life Sciences, ResPublica will be hosting the new Life Sciences Minister, George Freeman MP, for a...

‘The Labour Party’s Vision for Defence’ with Vernon Coaker MP
2nd December 2014

This is a private roundtable event. For further information please contact Elliott Mears, Events and Communications Manager, elliott.mears@respublica.org.uk, 0207 222 6552....

What Does a Mutual Economy Really Look Like?
13th March 2013

On 13th March 2013, ResPublica launched its latest publication, Making It Mutual, which showcases the importance of ownership, mutuality and reciprocity as mainstream principles for...

How Will Welfare Reform Affect Local Communities?
4th March 2013

ResPublica’s event ‘How Will Welfare Reform Affect Local Communities?’ will take the form of a 90 minute panel discussion with Q&A. It will explore the...

Research Projects

A Right to Beauty: Recognising the public policy impacts of beauty

In the run up to the General Election and beyond, ResPublica will be making the case for a ‘community right to beauty': a community right...

’21st Century Healthcare: Technology, participation and medical innovation’ with the Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman MP

Building on the success of its previous work on Life Sciences, ResPublica will be hosting the new Life Sciences Minister, George Freeman MP, for a...

Equal Dignity in Pregnancy: Establishing a Support Network for Women in Society

We aim to encourage a radical departure from how this issue has been presented in the UK. It is often implicitly recognized that we need...

The New City States: England’s path to local economic growth and public sector reform

ResPublica has partnered with the Core Cities group to explore and present a fresh vision for the future shape of England’s public services, and its...

Energy Security in the UK: Home grown solutions and the shale opportunity

Recent developments in Russia have pushed energy security to the top of the UK’s political agenda. We urgently need to look for new ways in...

The Future of the NHS: Placing patients at the heart of healthcare

It is an unavoidable fact that an ageing population, the rise in the prevalence in lifestyle diseases, a downward trend in public expenditure and the...

Raising the Roof: A new social bar for housing associations

To take forward a number of the key innovations in housing policy that ResPublica has pioneered in recent months, we will be co-ordinating a full...

Acting on Localism

Given the concentrations of stock holdings owned by housing associations in many of our poorest communities, their commitment to the sustainability of community and neighbourhood...

Putting Social Value at the Heart of Public Services

Opening up the market to community-based groups, socially driven enterprises, mutuals and co-operatives – articulated within and beyond the Open Public Services White Paper –...

Author(s)