Lessons for Localism (report) - RSA

Lessons for Localism: the RSA Area Based Curriculum


  • Education and learning

The coalition government's localism agenda aims to encourage local autonomy and participation in the provision of public services that meet local needs. The RSA's case study in Peterborough illustrates some of the challenges in ‘Big Society’ approaches to local activities, and tensions that may arise.

If the Big Society agenda genuinely aims to enable communities to have more voice in shaping the world around them, then we need better frameworks within which to deal with conflict.

The RSA Education intervention in Peterborough illustrates some of these challenges. These include the key dilemmas that:

  • Some groups are more able and/or willing to participate than are others

  • Who mediates competing groups’ conflicting preferences and values is unclear

These (connected) issues raise questions concerning representation, autonomy, accountability and democracy.


Picture of Louise Thomas
Louise Thomas
Former RSA Education researcher

Be the first to write a comment


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.