Chapter

The big issue of the Big Society: mobilising communities alongside fiscal austerity

Irene Hardill and Susan Baines

in Enterprising care?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427212
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302193 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427212.003.0008
The big issue of the Big Society: mobilising communities alongside fiscal austerity

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This chapter consists of a synthesis of the evidence presented and a critical assessment of the three theoretical concepts as an explanation for voluntary action in the 21st century. It is forward-looking and examines emerging future trends and the implications for unpaid voluntary action in a period of economic and social uncertainty for liberal democracies with an ageing demographic profile. It notes that the VCS and volunteers are more visible now in Britain than ever and it is the higher expectations of them that place them in the limelight, and the coalition government is reimagining volunteering and the VCS in the Big Society. It adds that the central themes of the Big Society philosophy — compassionate conservatism, devolution of responsibility, and empowerment of citizens — have been central to David Cameron's political ideology.

Keywords: theoretical concepts; voluntary action; responsibility; liberal democracies; VCS; Big Society; David Cameron

Chapter.  7404 words.  Illustrated.

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