Local democracy, civic engagement and community

From New Labour to the Big Society

By Hugh Atkinson

Local democracy, civic engagement and community


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7911-5
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2012
  • BIC Category: Regional / local / state government, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Local, Society & social sciences / Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies, Politics, United States of America, USA, Regional / local / state government policies, Society & social sciences / Regional government policies


This accessible book is about local democracy, civic engagement, political participation and community in Britain. It rejects the many pessimistic accounts that seek to dominate our political discourse with their talk of political apathy, community breakdown and selfish individualism

The book focuses on local democratic politics in Britain over the last decade and a half, from the election of the New Labour government right up to the current Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. It includes an analysis of local democracy, civic engagement and participation across a range of policy areas and in the context of debates around accountability, legitimacy, sustainability, localism and the 'big society'.

Drawing on a wide range of examples, it argues that local democracy is a vibrant terrain of innovation, civic engagement and participation, and dynamic community activity, with a wide variety of informal and formal activity taking place.


The book's insights will prove invaluable to any students, lecturers and local goverment officers interested in mapping the shifting terrain of contemporary local governance in England.


Hugh Atkinson is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at London South Bank University


1 The theoretical context
2 Civic engagement and political participation: debates and evidence
3 The challenge of local democracy, civic engagement and community: an agenda for change
4 Local democracy at the formal level
5 Opening up local democracy beyond the formal realm
6 Local services, community and civic engagement
7 Regeneration and sustainability

Local democracy, civic engagement and community

By Hugh Atkinson

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Paperback £21.50 / $32.50

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