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Title: Public participation and public services in British liberal democracy: Colin Ward's anarchist critique
Authors: Wilkin, P
Boudeau, C
Keywords: Public participation;Public services;Colin Ward;Self-help;Mutual aid;Friendly societies
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Pion
Citation: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33: (05 February 2015)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to set out a critique of the prevailing academic and government accounts of ‘public participation’. This critique is drawn from the work of the British anarchist Colin Ward, which we argue is significant because it provides an alternative to state-led or market-led models of public participation. Both of the latter models subject individuals to external forms of authority (state or market). By contrast, Ward reminds us that the working-class tradition of free and autonomous associations, illustrated notably by the friendly societies, established a different understanding of public participation, one which presupposes the actual running and maintaining of the very services that the public relied upon through the key values of mutual aid and self-help. We describe the nature of these associations and suggest that, historically, they have been the most accomplished alternatives to state-led and market-led approaches to public participation.
ISSN: 0263-774X
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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