Britain is widely perceived to face serious problems of political disengagement, a lack of respect for governing institutions, and a gulf between elite and popular understandings of key political issues.
What is new here, and what has deeper roots in the past? Much contemporary commentary is based upon inaccurate or unproven historical assumptions - for example, that in previous decades citizens were more politically engaged, had clearer ideological positions, were more deferential, had greater respect for, and trust in, politicians, and received more reliable political information.
This roundtable session, led by Professor Adrian Bingham and Dr Tom Dowling of the University of Sheffield, will outline the central findings from an AHRC-funded projected entitled ‘Everyday Politics, Ordinary Lives: Democratic Engagement in Britain, 1918-1992’. It will:
The research draws on unpublished material from the Conservative Party and Labour Party archives, historical polling data, social science surveys, and life writing.
The session will be of interest to anyone seeking independent and historically informed perspective on our contemporary political culture, including politicians, party activists, pollsters, campaign groups and journalists.
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