politics

Tag: politics

Civil society and the Brexit opportunity

The ancients defined ‘politics’ as the art of living in cities. How could large numbers of people, not related to each other, co-exist peacefully? The answer was to develop institutions, resembling the families or kinship groups of the countryside, combining economic with social functions: churches and guilds, businesses and trades unions, charities and community groups. …

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“Over the last six years, we have become a more open, tolerant country”

HOPE not hate’s Fear and HOPE report has charted attitudes towards race, faith, immigration and belonging in England since 2011. The most detailed survey of its kind asks over 4,000 people 140 questions pertinent to current events. Our fourth report looks at economic pessimism, the effects of the Brexit vote, the recent attacks on Manchester …

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If we want active citizens, we need to invest in the skills of citizenship

Citizenship’s a wonderful thing. The very word empowers; it places identity on a plane above being a mere consumer of goods and services, a statistic or a ‘subject’ whose will is subjugated to that of some higher rank. It’s also a collective concept – citizens together – which, being inclusive, confers dignity. But it’s also …

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Is it time for England to emulate the Nordic civil society model?

Why civil society? In today’s complex and fast-changing societies, the state can neither be all-knowing nor all-powerful. There is thus a strong case for non-governmental organisations to provide grounded information and activist voices, and to act as critical partners in policy implementation. This is the idea of civil society as the ‘public sphere’, in which …

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“You can’t take the politics out of the struggle”: Four lessons from African feminist organising

African feminist movements are diverse. But we can, and must, learn from decades of transformational organising on the continent.  As African feminists, we face multiple systems of oppression including the effects of colonisation, neocolonisation, white supremacy, militarism, the globalisation of capitalism and neoliberalism. Yet our movements are more vibrant and radically political than ever before. …

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On brass bands and Brexit; culture and cuts: the case of Shirebrook

  Shirebrook is the kind the of place where everyone greets you in the street and the brass band plays in the park on a Saturday, teenagers preen in the town square for want of other places to flirt, and the library is bustling with people taking advantage of free internet – perhaps because they …

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It’s not just ‘fringe’ groups that are at risk of surveillance – UK civil society needs to learn digital security, and fast

A perfect storm of hacking and big data, corporate spying, and the surveillance-obsessed British state puts everyone at risk. Two years ago the human rights NGO Amnesty International was informed that the UK government had spied on its communications. It had taken 18 months of litigation and persistence to confirm their suspicions. In response, Amnesty’s …

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