Chasing the Zeitgeist

Frederick Powell

in The politics of civil society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347640
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303947 | DOI:
Chasing the Zeitgeist

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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

Chapter.  5120 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

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