Civil Society & Social Innovation

How can individuals and communities make their voices heard, what are the barriers to community empowerment and how can social innovation and wider participation be enhanced?
 

Places for all? A multimedia investigation of citizenship, work and belonging in a fast changing provincial city

Principal Investigator: Professor Ben Rogaly (University of Sussex)
From 2011 to 2013

With residents of Peterborough as its focus, Places for All? explores the multiple and diverse place attachments and work and migration histories of people of all ethnic backgrounds, from people born in the city to those who arrived very recently. Read more

Leapfrog – trans­form­ing pub­lic sec­tor con­sul­ta­tion by design

Principal Investigator: Dr Leon Cruickshank, Lancaster University
From 2015 to 2017

The Leapfrog project will be a close col­lab­o­ra­tion with pub­lic sec­tor and com­mu­nity part­ners to design and eval­u­ate new creative approaches to consultation. Read more

Imagine: Connecting Communities Through Research

Principal Investigator: Professor Kate Pahl (University of Sheffield)

The Imagine Project Working in partnership with local communities, we are exploring the social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement to imagine better futures and make them happen.   This five-year project, running from 2013 – 2017, brings together a range of different research projects working together across universities and communities. Read more

Connectivity and conflict in periods of austerity: What do we know about the middle class political activism and its effects on public services?

Principal Investigator: Annette Hastings (Glasgow University)
2011

Our project was a scoping review of middle class community activism – research evidence of the taken-for-granted fact that the middle classes shout louder and get more. Our review identified four causal mechanisms that explain how and why the middle classes benefit disproportionately from the state as individuals and as community groups of activists. Read more

Reframing state-citizen relationships in a time of austerity

Principal Investigator: Professor Joe Painter (Durham University)
From 2012 to 2013

This project examines how the different policy stances of the Scottish and UK public sectors are being rolled out in a time of austerity. It will identify and examine the mechanisms through which the role of the state is being changed in light of the ‘Big Society’ and ‘Localism’ agenda in England and the Community Empowerment Bill in Scotland. Read more

Unearth Hidden Assets through Community Co-design and Co-production

Principal Investigator: Dr Busayawan Lam, Brunel University
From 2013 to 2014

We believe that each community has many valuable assets, for example people and spaces. However, many assets may not be visible to the majority of community members. This collaborative project works with communities to uncover hidden assets and unlock their potential. Read more

Measuring big society

Principal Investigator: Professor Richard Mitchell (University of Glasgow)
From 2010 to 2011

Big Society is a core element of the coalition government’s policy and ideology. It is not easy to define, but in essence a Big Society is one in which citizens and communities take a vastly increased role in managing shaping and delivering public services and the social and physical infrastructure of society. Read more

‘Connectors, not Communities, in Preventing and Responding to Violence and Disaffection; Marginalised Youth and Complexities of ‘Community’

Principal Investigator: Basia Spalek
From 2014 to 2015

A critical theme emerging from three scoping studies conducted as part of the Connected Communities programme is that, in relation to marginalised young people and their “connections and disconnections” with communities, key individuals [‘connectors’] working within and across multiple communities often play a significant role in mediating many of the critical issues facing their lives. Read more

Tackling ethical issues and dilemmas in community-based participatory research: a practical resource

Principal Investigator: Professor Sarah Jane Banks (Durham University)
2012

This project brought together community partners and academics from four previous Connected Communities projects to work on developing ethical guidelines for community-based participatory research (CBPR). After two rounds of consultation, a guide was developed and published by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement in November 2012. Read more

Active citizenship, public engagement and the humanities: the Victorian model

Principal Investigator: Prof Eugenio Biagini (University of Cambridge)
2012

This project sought to give historical perspective to contemporary debates surrounding the role of the humanities in civil society. Read more