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The past, present and future of the Big Society

Een ideeëngeschiedenis met betekenis voor Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, political ideas, agenda-setting
Auteurs Peter Franklin en Peter Noordhoek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the intellectual, political and pragmatic origins of the concept Big Society. The authors argue that although the concept has become intertwined with the political ideas of UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron, the concept has also become firmly rooted in society and is thus likely to survive the political life of Cameron. Also outside the UK, the concept has acquired political attention. The authors explore the meaning of Big Society for the Netherlands. Thus far, the concept has reached the political agenda, but time will tell how the concept succeeds to sustain.


Peter Franklin
P. Franklin is a political researcher and speechwriter specialising in social and environmental issues. A former member of the Conservative Research Department and Policy Unit, he now works in the House of Commons. All views expressed in this article are his own.

Peter Noordhoek
P. Noordhoek is directeur van Northedge BV.

    This article identifies institutions and arrangements concerning the reconciliation of working life and family life for various European countries. These institutions and arrangements concern time (flexible working hours and leave arrangements), money (tax systems) and facilities (childcare facilities). A fairer distribution of all work and care tasks requires proper facilities at national level in respect of childcare, parental leave, so-called leave savings schemes, the right to work part-time, etc. Such facilities are of particular importance while taking the first steps towards a fairer distribution: they will enable men to take on more tasks at home, while making it easier for women to work outside the home. The article concludes that with regard to reconciliation facilities, the differences between the several welfare states within the European Union are fading away. This is interesting, because as a result the EU countries are increasingly finding common ground in terms of solutions for reconciliation and more specifically the role of men.


Ivy Koopmans
Ivy Koopmans is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Utrecht School of Economics van de Universiteit Utrecht. Adres: Utrecht School of Economics, Vredenburg 138, 3511 BG Utrecht, I.Koopmans@econ.uu.nl

Joop Schippers
Joop Schippers is hoogleraar Arbeids- en Emancipatie-economie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en tevens is hij als programmahoogleraar verbonden aan de Organisatie voor Strategisch Arbeidsmarktonderzoek (OSA). Adres: Utrecht School of Economics, Vredenburg 138, 3511 BG Utrecht
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