Finding a bowling partner: the role of stakeholders in activating civil society in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom

Tony Bovaird, Elke Löffler, Salvador Parrado-Díez

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9 Citations (Scopus)


An 'activism index', combining data on membership of civil associations and societies and the level of activism suggests that, notwithstanding cultural differences, civil activism in European countries could be a great deal higher than its current level. If higher civic participation is to be achieved, each stakeholder group within local governance can play an 'activation' role in relation to citizens, both as individuals and in relation to the voluntary organizations which represent citizens in their collective activities. In practice, different stakeholder groups play this role in widely differing ways in the contexts of Germany, Spain and the UK. In the future, we can expect the lead role in activating civil society in each country to be taken by different stakeholders, depending on the trust currently placed in them by other stakeholders in the community and by the resources which they command.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-431
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • activation
  • civil society
  • community activism
  • governance
  • local
  • social capital
  • stakeholder

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