Broad-based community organising in the UK: Re-imagining politics through the prism of civil society

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The study examines the emergence of broad-based community organising in the UK and how it informs understanding of civil society and its capacity to effect social and political change. The thesis can be stated simply as follows: Broad-based community organising represents a new and distinct form of civil society-driven politics in the UK, building the power of civil society organisations to more effectively engage in public life to effect social and political change. Deserving of special attention, it is argued, are those civil society organisations which develop sufficient power and legitimacy to act politically in the public sphere, both in contesting and holding the state and market to account and in pushing the boundaries of civility and social justice. Employing a critical social theory paradigm, broad-based community organising is understood as a distinctive political methodology, ontologically rooted in civil society and epistemologically based upon the central concept of power. The body of work provides a coherent, original and significant contribution to knowledge of broad-based community organising within the context of the UK and to broader questions about the nature of civil society and its role in effecting social and political change.
Date of Award9 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University


  • civil society
  • social change
  • political change
  • UK

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