Social Enterprise in Remote and Rural Communities
Edited by Jane Farmer, Carol Hill and Sarah-Anne Muñoz
Carol Hill, Jane Farmer and Sarah-Anne Muñoz In countries with well-developed systems of public sector service provision, recent decades have seen an increased focus on community involvement in the mechanisms of state delivery. Interest in achieving an active role for citizens and communities in the co-production of services and amenities for the maintenance of the health and wellbeing of, and to build capacity for, sustainable communities continues to develop. In the UK, the 2010-elected Conservative-led coalition government is promoting a ‘Big Society’ agenda shaped by a neo-mutualist policy trajectory. This has elevated the role of social enterprises, charities and voluntary organisations as vehicles for service provision. It has placed the UK government in the vanguard of an international policy environment that is increasingly promoting the development of tangible policies around co-production and social enterprise. In 2008, the UK-based New Economics Foundation proposed coproduction, with its ethos of improving the moral and social health of the nation by applying the force of the collective to providing localised services and amenities, as a concept that would involve citizens working with the state for the common good. Once elected, the Conservative-led coalition government set about transforming its rather vague ideas about creating a Big Society, and embracing citizen involvement in co-production, into practical policies for change. This has seen co-production advance from exhortations as to the merits of community social enterprise to the creation of structural changes intended to compel ubiquitous social enterprise development. A social enterprise bank, a network of community...
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