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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
Launch of ResPublica and Core Cities Report at The UK Devolution Summit
9th February 2015

View the agenda The debate on devolution, not only between parliaments, but for cities and other places across the whole of the UK, has never...

‘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....

Britain and Immigration – which way forward?
29th September 2014

Speakers: James Forsyth, Political Editor, The Spectator @JGForsyth (invited) James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Immigration @JBrokenshire The Lord Popat of Harrow, Lord in Waiting Sunder...

Conference ‘The Idea of Europe’
5th September 2014

The conference on “The Idea of Europe” is organised by the independent journal Telos — a leading publication that brings together intellectuals from around the...

After the Scottish Referendum: The future of devolution
29th September 2013

After the Scottish Referendum: The future of devolution #ScottishIndependence. Speakers: Rt Hon David Mundell MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland @DavidMundellMP Jacob Rees-Mogg...

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

‘Going to Scale’: a new ResPublica report with Key Cities

The current public policy debate on place-based devolution has so far concentrated on the devolved nations and the so called Metro-Cities. Going to Scale, 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...

Restoring Britain’s City States: Devolution, public service reform and local economic growth

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

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...

Author(s)