ESRC Seminar - Democracy and Civil Society: Threats and Possibilities
ESRC Seminar and Sociology Seminar
This free seminar explores the possibilities and limitations of democracy within society by exploring the challenges and opportunities that are currently facing civil society organisations (CSOs). The aim of the seminar is not only to look at the challenges that CSOs face, but also to examine different ways in which new, creative and innovative spaces may be carved out to do things differently.
- From: Wednesday 22 June 2016, 10 am
- To: Wednesday 22 June 2016, 4 pm
- Location: Lecture Theatre 7, Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
- Booking deadline: Wednesday 5 July 2017, 12.00 am
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are widely praised for building a democratic society. They have a proud tradition of social activism, campaigning and mutual aid, which are all parts of a healthy democracy.
Yet there are also concerns that CSOs are losing their independence and democratic voice. The shift from grants to contracts; the use of CSOs as service providers rather than advocates; the use of market-based models based on competitive tendering; the rise of managerialism and the decline in working conditions; and the 'no advocacy' or 'gagging' clause in grant agreements have all called into question the independence of CSOs. Their position as models for democratic organising and as champions of the needs and interests of marginalised communities could be seen as being under threat.
This free seminar explores the possibilities and limitations of democracy within society by exploring the challenges and opportunities that are currently facing CSOs. The aim of the seminar is not only to look at the challenges that CSOs face, but also to examine different ways in which new, creative and innovative spaces may be carved out in order to do things differently.
The session will have a number of key speakers, including Caroline Slocock, the Director of the think tank 'Civil Exchange'; Linda Milbourne, author of Voluntary Sector in Transition (Policy Press 2013); and Steve Griggs and David Howarth, discussing the relationship between activism and civil society. The last part of the seminar will be a facilitated discussion by Martin Parker, exploring the reaction to the talks and exploration of positive responses to the challenges that CSOs face.
The event is free and will include food and drink on the day. We welcome participation from members of civil society organisations, activists, academics, and policymakers. The day will be participatory and inclusive.
For more information on the event's speakers and to book your place, please visit the event webpage.