Civil Society and social welfare

Project Details

Empowering Dutch citizens to respond to social problems

Since its inception, ResPublica has argued that civil society and private business in the UK and other countries have a crucial social responsibility. We believe in the breakup of state monopolies and allowing charities, social enterprises and companies grounded in their local municipalities to provide public services, devolving responsibility, control and power to local communities.

Within the Netherlands, interest in the concept of civil society, based around groups of citizens forming autonomous associations independent from government, is also growing. Government budgets across Europe are under real pressure, yet public pressure to maintain availability and quality of public services remains. We believe civil society holds the answer to resolving this tension.

Running until 2018, this research will aim to improve the social and economic impact of the civil society activities undertaken in two districts within Leeuwarden. Working with the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, and Socversity, and with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, ResPublica will offer insights from the devolution of public services in the United Kingdom to help to develop the concept of civil society in the Netherlands, and to deepen theories of change underlying interventions based upon the application of the civil society concept.