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Active CitizenshipWhat Could it Achieve and How?$
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Bernard Crick and Andrew Lockyer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638666

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638666.001.0001

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Democratic Citizenship and Lifelong Active Learning

Democratic Citizenship and Lifelong Active Learning

(p.129) 9 Democratic Citizenship and Lifelong Active Learning
Active Citizenship

John Annette

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reflects on the plurality of opportunities presently being developed in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world for deliberative democratic participation of citizens to revitalise local communities. It examines the limitations of the theory of social capital which views community volunteering as the model for promoting civic renewal, without recognising the importance of the political aspect of civic engagement. It explores New Labour's social policies on neighbourhood renewal and civic engagement in terms of creating a new relationship between state and civil society, replacing government by governance. This, the chapter argues, looks to a new democratic politics which might include ‘referendums, consultative activities, and deliberative participation’. The chapter focuses on a particular initiative in adult learning introduced by the UK Home Office's Civil Renewal Unit, namely the Active Learning for Active Citizenship (ALAC) programme. It provides a community-based ‘learning framework’ which recognises difference while enabling ‘a shared political identity of citizenship’. It views experiential learning as a means to advance the programme of active citizenship.

Keywords:   active citizenship, United Kingdom, social capital, community volunteering, New Labour, civil society, social policies, neighbourhood renewal, civic engagement, experiential learning

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