Respect and the politics of behaviour

Elizabeth Burney

in Securing respect

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847420947
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303336 | DOI:
Respect and the politics of behaviour

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This chapter examines the ideology behind the various initiatives of the New Labour government and investigates whether slogans with ill-defined targets are sufficient to change public behaviour. It discusses the ways in which the government has shown an active role in promoting good behaviour. It particularly examines the policies and campaigns forwarded by the government in shaping standards of behaviour and in encouraging respect. Some of these government policies include: the ‘Together’ campaign and the 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act which aimed to promote solidarity and curb incivilities and anti-social behaviours in public spaces. The chapter also discusses policies that have focused on parental responsibility and the role of parents in overseeing the conduct of their children. Overall, the aim of the Respect Agenda of the government and other policies that focused on respect and good behaviour was to revive civil society. The civic renewal program of the government aimed to build trust, cooperation and initiative among members of the society. The chapter concludes that the call of respect should look beyond social inequalities and should be accorded to the population at every level. The government and politicians should show respect as well by listening, understanding and adapting policies that address the needs of the people, rather than forcing diktat and punitive laws and practices.

Keywords: New Labour government; public behaviour; promoting good behaviour; policies; campaigns; standards of behaviour; respect; Together campaign; Anti-Social Behaviour Act; solidarity

Chapter.  6599 words. 

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