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Power, participation and political renewalCase studies in public participation$
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Marian Barnes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346681

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346681.001.0001

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Inclusive democracy and social movements

Inclusive democracy and social movements

(p.33) Three Inclusive democracy and social movements
Power, participation and political renewal

Marian Barnes

Janet Newman

Helen Sullivan

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the means by which concerns about the management and government of public services have intersected with concerns about a decline in political participation. It describes the move to more inclusive forms of politics and decision-making that has derived from autonomous action among community, identity, and user groups. From a governance perspective, opening up decision-making about public policies and services to wider influence is seen as a means both of improving the legitimacy of decisions and enhancing the responsiveness of the services that are provided. Finally, it explores the significance of social movement theory in understanding such action, and relates this to conceptualisations of social justice as requiring recognition as well as redistribution. It is argued that it is not sufficient to look at new forms of public participation solely from the perspective of the official discourses and aspirations evident within the ever increasing initiatives coming from both national and local levels of government.

Keywords:   political participation, identity, social movement theory, social justice, public services

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