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The ‘Shared Society’ needs a strong civil society

A provocation paper in which NPC’s CEO Dan Corry and political scientist Professor Gerry Stoker argue that progressive policy must throw off its historic suspicions and really get behind civil society.

A progressive agenda for change

The Prime Minister seeks to address the divisions highlighted by Brexit with the idea of the ‘Shared Society’. But to what extent will this translate into meaningful action? Dan Corry and Professor Gerry Stoker argue that progressive supporters of the Shared Society need to push the debate beyond sloganeering and towards a real agenda to drive change. And this means putting civil society front and centre.

This piece outlines how we can understand and champion civil society, address the issues it faces, and give it the boost it needs to help build a more shared, less divided, society.

‘Our country is divided and there are a multitude of social and economic problems that require urgently to be addressed. We can embrace the Prime Minister’s idea of the ‘Shared Society’ but not if it is just a nice piece of rhetoric. Government must play its part. Business will have a key role. But above all the civil society must be seen as the lynchpin.

This pamphlet is both an argument drawing on evidence and a call for action. We aim to persuade with the idea that civil society should be at the heart of delivering a progressive agenda. We seek to mobilise institutional, financial, and informational resources to support a dynamic of change on the ground.’

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