Society & Politics

The Big Society in Context: A means to what end?

Guy Brandon

This publication is the Jubilee Centre’s attempt to evaluate the ‘Big Society’ (BS) political initiative in the UK in light of biblical principles.  It argues that the BS initiative, which seeks to “decrease the size and scope of government with the effect of enabling local communities, families, and individuals by passing power and responsibility to them” (vii), is largely congruous with biblical principles and understanding of the state and provides the Church with opportunities for active involvement in regenerating local communities (e.g., social enterprises).  Yet the author also argues that the BS initiative focus on the means and process of change without adequately describing to what ends this change is directed; thus, it is not clear that a bigger society will necessarily be a better one.  Additionally, the government cannot diffuse all of its power and responsibilities to the level of the local community, for there are some responsibilities that only the government has the power and resources to fulfill.  The Church, therefore, must hold the government accountable to its purpose of creating the necessary conditions for the common good to flourish.

Source: Jubilee Centre

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