There are increasing concerns about changes in society and the economy which are undermining the effectiveness of democracy and weakening traditional conceptions of citizenship. What does it mean to be a British citizen in the early part of the 21st century? This book presents the first major empirical study of citizenship in Britain, comprising surveys of political participation and voluntary activities, and of the beliefs and values which underpin them. As well as presenting new data, the authors provide a sophisticated discussion of the concept of citizenship, and the consequences of a lack of civic engagement in a modern democracy. It examines why some people are 'good' citizens when others are 'bad' and it explores the consequences of citizenship for policy-makers and democracy. Comprehensive and accessible, this book makes a major contribution to our understanding of civic attitudes in Britain today and will appeal to students, researchers and policy-makers.
'A marvelous book, so well-written that it cannot be put down. It covers all you might want to know about British citizenship, from attitudes to behaviour, from participation in politics to what people do about their neighbourhood and about the causes they support. And when one closes the volume on finds that one is, as the authors are, cautiously optimistic.' Professor Jean Blondel, European University Institute and University of Siena 'It is a challenging conclusion to an impressive and important book that should be required reading for everyone in public service, elected and non-elected, wanting to understand how society ticks today.' Public Servant 'Here are findings of real public concern.' The Independent '... an impressive book that will be widely referenced over the next decade.' Representation