Growing Wales’ Civil Society

Civil society is thriving in Wales, as this volume testifies. Defined as occupying the space between the state and the market, civil society’s reach extends to the voluntary sector, the co-operative economy, education and broadcasting.

There are more than 30,000 third sector organisations in Wales while more than 1.5 million people volunteer. We have 5,000 town and community councillors. There are 1,809 schools, of which 1,500 are already registered as eco-schools. Meanwhile, the Welsh co-operative economy, which includes everything from farming co-operatives and credit unions to employee-owned businesses and community co-operatives that run village shops and pubs, is worth around £1 billion pounds and employs more than 5,000 people.

This book reports on a Welsh debate around key findings of the Carnegie Trusts’ Commission of an Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland, Making Good Society, that was published in March 2010. The authors address four main themes:

  • Growing a more civil economy.
  • Transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Democratising media ownership and content.
  • Growing participatory and deliberative democracy.

The aim was to ask how the Carnegie findings relate to the emergence of Welsh civil society following a decade of devolution.

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