Legatum Institute

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All politics is local: strengthening communities, transforming people's lives


All politics is local: strengthening communities, transforming people's lives

We are facing a moment of profound change, which demands a more coherent look at our governance and a better approach to empowering individuals and communities, who we believe should be at the heart of politics.

However, centrally-mandated policies are delivering public services with little input from local communities. Just as they can send signals through market mechanisms in the private sector, people want choices in public service delivery in order to feel in charge of their lives and have a say on how their taxes are spent. This matters because prosperity results from good governance. And good governance requires legitimacy, accountability, transparency, and responsiveness.

For democracy to work, individuals need to have confidence that government decisions are made because they are good for them and their communities. Most of our lives are spent as part of communities, which show their strength by being resilient and adaptable. Empowering people is at the heart of strengthening communities and society.

Read the report here.

Recent Publications

Our latest report illustrates why the refugee crisis is the humanitarian challenge of our time

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, as individuals seek to create their own pathways from poverty to prosperity. For far too many, these are journeys not of opportunity but of necessity. People undertaking these so-called 'irregular' journeys are remarkably vulnerable. They are likely to face exploitation at the hands of human traffickers, who generate more than $150 billion in illegal profits each year. Worse still, they may find themselves trapped in a world of modern slavery and sexual exploitation from which they are unable to escape. They are unprotected, accumulate debt, and have no legal recourse.

This phenomenon requires an urgent response. To date, we lack the data to form an accurate appraisal of the motivations behind these extraordinary journeys, and the risks faced by those undertaking them. The purpose of this initial report, the first of three to be published this year, is to produce a data-driven overview of the current landscape of global migration, which will in turn support the Legatum Institute’s commitment to identifying solutions that would assist necessity-driven migrants, refugees and victims of trafficking.

Read the report here.

Imagining the country we want to be

Friday, 16 March 2018

Britain faces a series of great challenges in the years ahead. Political, technological and demographic changes are underway that will profoundly change the country we know. Britain’s task is to build an economic and social model which will help people cope with, and prosper from, these changes.

The Country We Want To Be programme examines what the UK needs to do in order to prosper in the 21st century. This requires a brutal analysis of our strengths and weaknesses; as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. As part of that analysis, the Legatum Institute convened a conference in January 2018, bringing together some of the UK’s foremost thinkers to debate the country’s future, and how we can deliver the open economy, inclusive society and empowered population we wish to see.

What follows is the introduction to a collection of papers from this conference, which will be published in the coming months.

Read the full introduction here.

A community-led future: A proposal for the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower

Monday, 12 March 2018

The tragic fire in Grenfell Tower on 14th June 2017 killed 71 people and saw 376 households from the Tower and from neighbouring buildings made homeless. 

Our report, A community-led future: A proposal for the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower, focuses on the next steps for the Lancaster West Estate. This paper makes a case for a community-led future for the estate; and indeed argues that community-led housing represents a way forward for housing policy in general.

Read the report here.

See how community ownership could be a way forward for the Lancaster West Estate