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Challenging times, challenging administrationThe role of public administration in producing social justice in Ireland$
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Chris McInerney

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088292

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088292.001.0001

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Civic engagement and social justice

Civic engagement and social justice

(p.77) 4 Civic engagement and social justice
Challenging times, challenging administration

Chris McInerney

Manchester University Press

A further conceptual part of the social justice / public administration jigsaw is examined in Chapter 4 with an extended discussion on the role of civic engagement as a component of social justice. This chapter highlights the range of opinions and experiences that exist on the issue of citizen participation and its importance or otherwise to the operation of democracy. The chapter introduces a short lexicon of significant civic engagement terms as a means of illustrating some of the values that inform the participatory ideal. It also reflects on international practice in civic engagement, suggesting that much of the practical reality struggles to match the grand rhetoric of citizen participation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the specific role of public administration in promoting civic engagement and presents a model to highlight the impact on civic engagement of three related factors; attitudes to democratic deepening; the nature public administration responsiveness and the disposition towards social justice. Taken together it suggests that these three variables combine to facilitate or frustrate a deeper and more empowering engagement experience.

Keywords:   Civic engagement, Social justice, Participatory democracy, Responsiveness, Disposition

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