Citizens of faith in governance: opportunities, rationales and challenges

Rachael Chapman

in Changing local governance, changing citizens

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422170
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301677 | DOI:
Citizens of faith in governance: opportunities, rationales and challenges

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Similar to other countries, the role and relationship between the state and faith groups in Britain is complex and has changed over time. At the local level, the direct engagement and representation of faith communities in partnerships has occurred most notably in local strategic partnerships. Increased partnership between the state and faith groups is also taking place at the local level through publicly funded welfare services and policy initiatives, aiming to improve social inclusion, community cohesion, and preventing violent extremism. This chapter explores the extent to which there has been a renegotiation of state–faith relations in Britain from the early 1990s onwards. It discusses the implications and impact of this for local governance structures, processes, and actors. While faith actors and citizens are likely to emphasise spiritual capital as a key motivating force for action, they may also take part in governance to secure additional resources (for example, public funding) and political influence. This may in turn assist them in ensuring community needs are met as well as helping them pursue broader social-action goals. Finally, the chapter discusses the rationales, opportunities, and challenges surrounding faith engagement, focusing in particular on issues of power and citizenship.

Keywords: state–faith relations; faith; citizens; governance; Britain; partnership; community

Chapter.  7771 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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