Tag Archive for "power"

Power, politics and open government

July 23, 2014 – Tim Hughes

Last week I was lucky enough to be in Berlin for the Open Knowledge Festival 2014. As much as I know I should, I often struggle to blog after events. Fortunately this time I was cornered by our friends at The Engine Room, who forced me to reflect on my takeaways from the two days. So…

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“Hearing the voices of the unheard”

January 24, 2013 – Tim Hughes

Yesterday, I attended a meeting of the Participatory Budgeting Network, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. The PB Network is a newly formed body advocating for and leading new learning and innovations in PB. It takes over from the work of the PB Unit, which sadly was…

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boy walking, head down, alone

They mustn’t walk alone (but they’ll try)

July 13, 2012 – Simon Burall

New research suggests that the UK needs a new constitution. However, recent rancorous exchanges around Lords reform proves that politicians won’t be able to write one alone. Only the genuine, deep, involvement of the public will help to break the deadlock. Democratic Audit* has published its fourth comprehensive Audit of UK democracy. The Audit is…

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Webinar 5: Organising people for power

April 27, 2012 – Tim Hughes

Today, 27 April, we held the fifth webinar in our series on community engagement for the Creative Councils programme. In this session,  Mark Parker explores what modern broad-based organising looks like in practice, where it has come from and how organising can contribute to reviving grassroots democracy. Mark is a community organiser working in Southwark in South London, part of the four-year…

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Power struggles: Why we need top-down and bottom-up

April 17, 2012 – Annie Quick

One of the best tools to overcome power inequality is bottom-up participation such as Community Organising. However, there is still a need for top-down participation too. Recently, I suggested that if participation is going to work towards a fairer and more equal society then participation exercises need to challenge existing power imbalances. A number of the…

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Participation as a power struggle

February 28, 2012 – Annie Quick

Participation takes place in an unequal world. If we don't acknowledge and engage with these power inequalities, there's a danger that participation will increase them.  Recently, I spent an evening describing the work of Involve to an old school friend. Quite political, but with no particular interest in participation, she challenged me to justify my…

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Leeds Town Hall

Rebuilding the political

October 24, 2011 – Annie Quick

At last week’s pathways event on local engagement in democracy, conversation focused on how to overcome negative perceptions of formal participation and the dangers of not doing so. Last week, the Pathways team held a seminar looking at the implications of their research for local engagement in democracy. You can see the briefing paper here. A key…

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