Archive for September, 2008

30
Sep
08

The Role of Civic Education

Ben Kisby, University  of Sheffield and James Sloam, Royal Holloway, University of London

Declining participation in conventional forms of politics has become a central theme for academics and policy-makers in recent years, and has often been viewed as marking a crisis in citizenship (Power Inquiry 2006; Stoker 2006; Hay 2007). The trend is most observable amongst younger people, who have become increasingly alienated from electoral politics (and, indeed, the state). On the other hand, young people (15 to 25 year olds) are not politically apathetic (Catan, 2003); they have their own views and engage in democratic politics through various modes of participation (Pattie et al. 2004; Sloam 2007). How can we reconnect young people to the political system? Much faith has placed in education as an answer to this problem (e.g. DFEE/QCA 1998), and there is strong evidence to suggest that educational interventions have the potential to boost prospects for future political activity (Colby et al. 2007). We argue that the introduction of citizenship education has the potential to help provide young people with the knowledge, skills and values to participate effectively in the democratic life of the country. The introduction of citizenship lessons in 2002 was a step in the right direction, but it currently suffers from a number of serious problems (OFSTED, 2005)…

Download the full paper: The role of Civic Education…

30
Sep
08

Government Effectiveness and Political Participation in Britain

Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

Something is happening to the effectiveness of British Government – it is declining over time. We know this from data supplied by World Bank economists who have been carefully mapping the correlates of good government across the world as part of their efforts to understand economic development. One of their measures is called ‘Government Effectiveness’…

Download the full paper: Government Effectiveness and Political Participation in Britain…

09
Sep
08

Revitalising politics: Position paper

This paper, written by Colin Hay (University of Sheffield), Gerry Stoker (University of Southampton) and Andy Williamson (Hansard Society), sets the scene for the upcoming conference, presenting a broad discussion on political disengagement and some of the reasons for it.

The paper charges that the Government and political elites more generally have failed to fully recognise the scale, depth and nature of the democratic political malaise we face. A number of issues have been ducked thus far in public debate and a concern for the renewal of democratic politics in the UK means that the paper argues they need to be tabled once more–and, in due course, addressed directly,  something, it is hoped, that this conference will provide impetus too.

Download the Revitalising politics-position paper (103Kb|PDF)

03
Sep
08

Revitalising Politics: Have we lost the plot?

Welcome to ‘Revitalising Politics: Have we lost the plot?’, a two-day mini conference being held at Parliament on 5-6 November 2008.

Revitalising Politics is jointly organised by the Hansard Society and Professors Gerry Stoker (University of Southampton) and Colin Hay (University of Sheffield), two of the UK’s leading academics in the field of political studies. The conference theme is an examination of why, given that the UK is going through a period of constitutional innovation, we lack the revitalised politics to go along with it.

The conference will examine the Government’s proposals to address the current low levels of political participation, as outlined in the Ministry of Justice’s National Framework for Greater Citizen Engagement and the Ministry of Communities and Local Government’s White Paper Communities in Control. The conference explores whether these recommendations fully recognise the scale, depth and nature of the democratic political malaise we face and examine alternative proposals.

Speakers and delegates will be invited to the conference from across the main political parties, policy institutes, universities and the media to ensure that a broad cross-section of views is represented.

Sorry, but due to space limitations this is a closed event and attendance is by invitation only.




Revitalising Politics is an examination of why, given that the UK is going through a period of constitutional innovation, we lack the revitalised politics to go along with it. This website is a space for attendees and others who are interested to review, comment and expand on the position papers being presented at the conference.

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