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Britain is one of the most centralised countries in the world, while trust in politics has never been lower. Our social bonds have been eroded and fragmented from years of excessive marketisation. To start to combat this, we believe power must be devolved to the lowest appropriate level.
Empowered communities, guided by their understanding of the issues most salient to them, must lead public services to address the growing and complex barriers that people face in their own lives.
However, the dislocation of personal conviction and social obligation has broken down bonds of trust. Families play a crucial role in the success of their communities, but they too have suffered the effects of excessive marketization. More must therefore be done to engender a political environment and social architecture which places supporting families in all circumstances at the heart of public policy.
Building strong communities will provide a platform that is essential for the devolution of power. Achieving this requires a fundamental renewal of our governing institutions. Civil society and intermediary institutions, such as schools, faith groups and businesses are a crucial means to achieving this outcome. We therefore also need a new purpose and new vision, to create institutions that are part of a shared social space.
The UK is one of the most centralised countries of its size in the developed world, and English local government has the most circumscribed powers of any equivalent tier internationally. Despite the many merits of the Localism Act 2011, communities are still relatively powerless when it comes to shaping their local area and participating in their public services, and people no longer believe that voting will deliver the changes they require.
We are witnessing a crisis of legitimacy and accountability at home and abroad. Globally, there is a growing distrust of representative democracy: the Occupy Wall Street movement and the St Paul’s Cathedral sit-ins are symptomatic of alternative modes of expression by an electorate who has given up on their elected representatives and the economy they licensed. There is an increasing suspicion by citizens that the European Union is a consolidating rather than an enabling power that acts for the interests of the representatives rather than the represented.
We are increasingly aware of the terrible social consequences of the breakdown of families, both extended and immediate. That the UK has one of the highest rates of family breakdown in the Western world and that the social and economic cost is one we can no longer afford to ignore is evident to those that would look. Family breakdown is damaging to people and society: it drives many of the social problems we see in Britain.
Published: 26 November 2012To coincide with the one year anniversary of the Localism Act, the latest report from ResPublica, Acting on Localism: The role of housing associations in driving a community agenda, examines...Download as PDF
Published: 24 September 2012To mark the start of party conference season 2012, ResPublica have compiled a collection of articles and essays, with a number of diverse contributions from our fringe partners and speakers....Download as PDF
Published: 14 December 2011On Wednesday 14 December 2011, ResPublica launched Different Politics, Same Planet: Values for sustainable development beyond left and right, a new report on environmental and humanitarian values supported by Oxfam...Download as PDF
Published: 03 October 2011On Monday 3 October, ResPublica launched its latest report, entitled ‘Age of Opportunity: Older people, volunteering and the Big Society’. Written by ResPublica Associate Antonia Cox, the report, produced in...Download as PDF
Published: 11 July 2011ResPublica is delighted to share its latest report, Civic Limits: How much more involved can people get?. This report seeks to provide some definition to this aspect of the big...Download as PDF
Published: 21 June 2011On Tuesday 21 June, ResPublica launched Children and the Big Society: Backing communities to keep the next generation safe and happy, in which we argue that the Government must acknowledge...Download as PDF
The challenge: An unequal and diverging Brexit Britain Britain’s cities and regions face real and growing challenges post-Brexit. It is vital that growth is delivered...
ResPublica, in partnership with the British Council, is undertaking a project on soft power and the vital role of institutions in British foreign policy. Institutions...
Since taking office, the new Prime Minister’s rhetoric has made clear her determination to help young people from all backgrounds to go as far as...
The Government’s Written Statement of February this year stated that, based on conversations with local authorities, councils in the UK had an estimated capacity to...