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Big society: a concept in pursuit of a definition

Bob Hudson (Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the University of Durham, Durham, UK)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 10 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the conceptual and policy underpinnings of the UK Government's “Big Society” programme.


The paper uses secondary research: a review and analysis of published sources – official and unofficial.


The “Big Society” concept is unclear but seems more focused upon extending the principle of markets than increasing community cohesion. This may do little to encourage the shared endeavour which is known to be necessary for service integration focused on individuals. Co‐production would be a better concept to underpin the Big Society.


There have been few attempts to undertake a broad analysis of the Big Society idea and critically explore the whole programme.



Hudson, B. (2011), "Big society: a concept in pursuit of a definition", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 17-24.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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