A review of the civil renewal and active citizenship debate

Document type
Millner, Sophie
Date of publication
1 May 2008
Social Policy, Community Development and Regeneration
Social welfare
Material type

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This report analyses the policies on the civil renewal agenda as they stood at the beginning of 2008 and provides a summary of the aims of its contemporary government, based on key government documents. The report continues to look at the overall picture in order to analyse and raise challenges to the agenda of civil renewal and active citizenship. The previous agenda is placed side by side with the contemporary agenda to ask what has changed since 2005; and which aspects rose in significance and which became less prominent. The concepts drawn out through initial analysis are revisited and their meaning and application challenged, using a body of critical literature from academics, voluntary and community organisations and research centres. By considering the agenda as a whole the report reveals some of the underlying tensions and conflicts within government thinking and practice. The report concludes that the concept of community may be too limited in scope and unable to account for the plurality of the groups from which collectives are comprised. In effort to offer an alternative to the concept of community the term network is proposed as giving a wider understanding of collectives that transcend physical and geographic space.

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