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The politics of civil societyNeoliberalism or Social Left?$
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Frederick Powell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347640

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347640.001.0001

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Chasing the Zeitgeist

Chasing the Zeitgeist

Chapter:
(p.211) Nine Chasing the Zeitgeist
Source:
The politics of civil society
Author(s):

Frederick Powell

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861347640.003.0010

This chapter seeks to draw a general conclusion by returning to the issues raised in the introduction, in particular the search for a paradigm to fit the times. It explains that the social policy debate has been dominated by the agenda of public service reform for many years, shaped by the influence of neoliberal values and postmodern politics characterised by a lack of an emancipatory vision. It discusses how social democracy represented a compromise between capitalism and socialism during the twentieth century. It notes that civil society has been revitalised in opposition to a resurgent market determined to subdue it through the power of consumerism and a conservative agenda. It highlights how citizen participation through the promotion of a vibrant civil society is the best hope of democracy in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   social policy, public service reform, neoliberal values, postmodern politics, capitalism, socialism, citizen participation

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