Citizenship And Leadership Essay

2676 words - 11 pages

CITIZENSHIPAND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

“Representativeness” and Partnership Working in Regeneration


Table of Contents

Representation in the United Kingdom 3
Community Involvement in Partnership Working 4
Methods to Improve Community Participation 6
Conclusion 7
Source Material 8


“Representativeness” and Partnership Working in Regeneration

Representation in the United Kingdom

In any democracy, citizens are both governed and governing and make up the process of government. How good government is therefore depends on the actions of citizens. If citizens are treated as customers, or as passive members of society, the potential of this type of government is not ...view middle of the document...

Deliberation in search of a practical agreement is therefore a necessary element in representative democracy. The more that citizens are involved in deliberation, the more informed will be the representative. Participation therefore strengthens the nature of representative democracy.

If there is to be a strong bond between citizens and government there must also be public accountability. There are two elements to this. Firstly, those who exercise public power must be able to give account. Secondly, there must be means to hold to account those who exercise public power. This means that citizens need to be able to hold representatives to account, and need to be able to have the right information to make a judgement about the actions of representatives. Accountability is not about control, but about the way in which control is exercised. It is not an administrative tool, but a moral principle . If every citizen counts in the accounting, a limited relationship is not enough. Accountability is a process that is part of the creation of a community and society. For it to happen requires a lot of participation by citizens.

Voluntary bodies, community groups and worker co-operatives are all forms of participation in society, and therefore can enable representative institutions (parliament, councils etc.) to achieve representation by exposing them to a wider process of deliberation by the citizens. Public bodies can, if they choose, use their basis in election to ignore or even go against genuine protests against their decisions. When this happens, they become enclosed and citizens feel powerless against them.

This essay is going to examine the way in which community regeneration processes that have been developed in the past few years are (or can be) effective, if at all, in improving representation and democracy in the UK.

Community Involvement in Partnership Working

Partnership is a concept that implies equality or balance, and reciprocation between parties. But there is often inequality in so-called partnerships, mainly because partners have different levels of power i.e. the ability to make things happen . Lukes, 1974 divides power into three dimensions the power to make decisions, the power to shape a particular agenda and the power to shape people’s desires. The last dimension is directly related to the way in which attitudes, knowledge and beliefs are developed in society.

When partnerships are formed between communities and public authorities, it is important to understand power-relationships. According to Mayo and Taylor, there is a large gap between rhetoric and reality when discussing regeneration partnerships in the UK. Perhaps it is time to look beyond the simple achievements of outputs and evaluate success also on the basis of outcomes in terms of changes in the relative power of different stakeholders.

On the basis that citizens are central in a democracy, and that the UK is constitutionally built upon this...

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