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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.

Society

Society (Cont.)

We hold our leaders in contempt, but despair of doing anything for ourselves or for our community. This dysfunction, which is evident at every level of society, stems from the collapse of our social relations and personal foundations. 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 topdown siloed approach to service delivery, which results in departmental conflicts and an array of targets, such activity should be driven by a holistic and integrated vision of overall local need – a vision that can ascertain and address the most challenging factors that prevent human flourishing. We believe that neither state bureaucracy nor privatisation of public services is attentive to either whole persons or 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

Projects
New programme of work on culture, arts and the creative industries

We are seeking to take forward a programme of activity on culture, the arts and creative industries, and welcoming partners to support, advance and advocate...

Projects
Community Health Kickstarter Fund

Efforts at reforming the health and care systems have, rightly, focused on streamlining and integrating the current system to make it more efficient, effective and...

Projects
Realising the potential of estate regeneration

The Government’s drive to regenerate so-called ‘sink estates’ has raised the question of how regeneration can be funded and delivered and be driven by community-driven...

Projects
The British Bill of Rights: Risk or Opportunity for the Young?

The protections and opportunities afforded to children and young people by existing rights provisions are important contributors to their capacity to live, learn and flourish...

Projects
Extending educational excellence: Positioning schools as social anchors

Schools are among the most important institutions in our society. They play a crucial role in providing the initial training in skills and learning which...

Projects
Backing Beauty Commission

Our Backing Beauty Commission is a campaign to put beauty, placemaking and community participation at the heart of local planning and wider public policy. Through...

True North 2017
13th July 2017

ResPublica’s inaugural North conference Finding True North hosted over 250 leaders from across the North on Friday 8th July 2016 at the beautiful Lowry Theatre,...