The UK government has been accused of implementing laws and policies without taking into account their impact on human rights. This has resulted in a decrease in social security, leading to an increase in food insecurity, debt and homelessness. Furthermore, the response to the rise in migrant boat crossings through the English Channel was a bill and proposals that violated refugee and human rights legislation. A parliamentary oversight report revealed that existing social, economic and health inequalities, as well as the government's inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, caused disproportionately high mortality rates among people in institutions such as nursing homes, people with learning disabilities and autism, and people from black and ethnic minorities.
At the same time, there has been a decline in citizens' interest in politics during periods of calm between elections. This has led to a decrease in participation in one's own community, which is directly related to a decrease in feelings of happiness and trust. Caring for neighbors in need, families in crisis and the community is essential for connecting the dots and making an impact. However, when it comes to elections, citizens are seen as partisan voters rather than active participants.
According to official data released in September 2020, 30,700 families with children were living in temporary accommodation in London alone due to a lack of permanent, affordable and adequate alternatives. Civic education is essential for preparing students to be “effective citizens, voters, and members of their communities” by providing them with an understanding of how democratic processes work and how to participate in them. Transparency is also key for encouraging political commitment; citizens should have access to publicly available information about the actions of government members and their consequences. Local leaders should develop policies and initiatives that have a positive impact on citizens' daily lives.
The civic literacy curriculum of the Center for Political Thought at Arizona State University has inspired more than 30 states to establish civic competence requirements for high school graduation. In the 1830s, French sociologist and political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to the United States and was impressed by American civil society and civic engagement. In Pennsylvania, local business owners and college students have participated in Citizens Academy sessions to learn how residents can be even more involved in their communities. All articles published on this blog express the opinions of the authors, and not the position of the LSE British Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics and Political Science. The potential for citizens' engagement with politics is immense but it needs to be unlocked through civic education, transparency and initiatives that have a positive impact on people's daily lives.
By providing students with an understanding of how democratic processes work and how to participate in them, they can become effective citizens who are able to make an impact on their communities. Furthermore, transparency is key for encouraging political commitment; citizens should have access to publicly available information about the actions of government members and their consequences. Finally, local leaders should develop policies that have a positive effect on citizens' lives.