Regulation of civil life

Civil life has become more regulated, partly to protect citizens and organisations, following terrorist attacks and the ‘war on terror’ and partly in response to low public tolerance of risk.  Institutions increasingly seek to avoid a growing culture of blame by eliminating or insuring against risk.  Measures have been introduced such as the requirement for all those working in schools for the first time to undergo enhanced CRB checks, and VCOs are subject to multiple regulation regimes. 

What are the implications?

Moving forward

Risk management is essential for any organisation, but taking risks is also important to develop new ideas and approaches.

  • What strategies will you put in place to manage risk without stifling innovation? 
  • Can you help others, such as your funders or volunteers, to increase their appetite for risk by clearly communicating the risks and the benefits of the work that you do.

Terrorism and the legislation to protect against it pose new challenges for VCOs.

  • Can you demonstrate that your organisation also has a role in preventing terrorism by creating social cohesion and building social capital?
  •  Are you aware of any specific risks terrorism poses to your organisation?  What measures have you taken to manage these risks?

    Want to know more?

    Unkind, risk averse and untrusting - if this is today's society, can we change it?

    Published by: JRF

    Date: 2008

    What is it? A think piece looking at the movement toward individualism and the increasing difficulty of helping others in society due to barriers and bureaucracy.

    How useful is this? This think piece examines the decreasing altruism within society and communities.  It suggests that stringent checks and requirements born out of fear (exacerbated by the media) and a growing culture of blame have created a risk averse environment that makes it harder and harder to help others, discouraging all but the most determined and causing us to withdraw into ourselves.

    UK confidential

    Published by: Demos

    Date: 2008

    What is it? A large collection of essays discussing issues surrounding privacy, security, surveillance and civil liberties.

    How useful is this? “The Culture of control” on page 149 examines the vast amount of information that the government holds on individuals on top of active day-to-day surveillance.  The author suggests that the effect of this on society is a push toward normalising behaviour with the motivation of promoting “good” conduct. However, with escalating scales of regulation, divergence from this normalisation is increasingly likely.  It is suggested that part of the reason these dramatic cultural shifts have occurred is because of an “oppressive mass of legal requirements”, and an “equally oppressive mass of judicial sanctions”.

Last updated at 11:13 Tue 01/Jun/10.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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