Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Civic duty alive and well

23.03.2007
Nine per cent of the public are driven to get involved with their local communities, according to new research published today.

And report author Professor Peter John from The University of Manchester says most of them – 68 per cent – do it out of a sense of community.

The surprising results contrast strongly with the more pessimistic findings of this week’s Demos report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which put the figure at one per cent.

Using data from the Government’s 2005 English and Welsh Citizenship Survey, Professor John’s research examined the activities of 10,000 people.

He found nine per cent of people had taken part in groups making decisions on local health services, regeneration, crime, and education within 12 months.

In a separate development, there were also encouraging figures on public consultation:

Within the same 12-month period, 13.7 per cent of respondents had completed a questionnaire, 6 per cent had attended a public meeting and 4.6 per cent had been involved with a group set up to discuss problems in local services.

Professor John, who is Director of the University’s Institute for Political and Economic Governance, said: “My report shows that contrary to commonly held opinion, community participation is alive and well.

“It also shows the government is able to encourage citizens to get involved with matters that affect their neighbourhoods and are essential to our democracy.

“This is hardly the ‘minority sport’ which you sometimes read about in the media.

“Roles such as school governors, volunteer special constables, lay member of police authorities, youth offender panels and members of patient and public involvement forums are actually quite popular.

“This sort of activity is high. My hunch is that it’s actually growing -though we’d need to do more research to find out for sure.

”The Joseph Rowntree Foundation figure of one per cent is too restrictive because it’s just about community decision-making.

“But citizens get involved in many more aspects of what we call citizen governance activity than that as my report shows.

“Indeed, even in isolation, most forms of citizen governance activity I looked at are greater than the Joseph Rowntree Foundation one per cent figure.

“What is fascinating is that people are even more inspired to take part in these supportive activities than in groups set up to discuss problems in local services at 4.6 per cent”

He added: “This form of civic renewal activity was championed by David Blunkett when he was Home Secretary – especially in the area of crime.

“What is promising is that many of these roles are filled by people who actually use the services.

“Participation can only help to reverse the decline in trust our political system has endured over recent years.

“And if marginalised groups are indeed getting involved, then it might even encourage other aspects of democracy, such as voting.”

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>