Nuova pagina 1


Italian Home Contacts Credits ISSN
Urban Suffering Studies Center



SouqBiblio: internazional annotated bibliography (number 4)

Nuova pagina 1


Benedetto Saraceno


1) The Constitution of the Italian Republic (1947).
This text (even though not very recent!!) is not sufficiently well-known. It deals amply, exhaustively and admirably with topics such as: democracy, justice, rights, poverty, vulnerability, health, education. It should be read and re-read with attention. And also defended.

2) Archon Fung (2006 e 2010). Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy. Princeton University Press
How can democracy be conceived apart from a mere free election of parliamentary representatives? Or rather how to establish the direct participation of citizens in decision-making procedures regarding public matters? In fact, the growing complexity of the administrative, financial and bureaucratic worlds excludes any participation and places citizens in a condition of subordination compared to their rappresentatives. The Harvard expert Archon Fung documents and analyses the decision-making procedures of scholastic communities in the poor districts of Chicago as well as local police organizations. Through a participatory grassroots organization, the Local School Councils and through a reform called Chicago Alternative Policing Stragegy, conditions were created for an intense participation with real decision-making authority on behalf of the poorest communities of the city in strategic areas such as the school and the police. The book shows in a convincing way that democracy can be more substantial and radical than the mere construction of an electoral majority, that exciting processes of grassroot management of public matters by the community, can plan through courageous processes of empowerment, models of urban democracy. The risks of populism on one hand and technocracy on the other can be fought through radical processes of community devolution of authority.

3) Ethos Special Issue (2011). Origins and future of Big Society.
Ethos is an on-line magazine published by Serco Group, an international society of services that sells services to public and private corporations. The Ethos magazine, belonging to Serco tackles themes of social and ethical responsibility from the point of view of a "profit oriented" company. Inspite of the obvious risks of mingling n economic interests and cultural positions and inspite of the obvious ambiguity implicit in the concept of "social responsibility" promoted by numerous european economic enterprises, the level of the articles in Ethos is generally very high and of notable interest for understanding the cultural drifts of liberalism with social and ethical concerns. The February number of Ethos presents a special series dedicated to the origin, implications and consequences of the notion of Big Sociery.
Big Society was the guiding idea of the election campaign of the conservative, Cameron, the new political, cultural, social and ethical manifesto of the English Conservatives. Today it forms the programme of the agreement of legislature between Conservatories and Liberal Democrats. The scope of the Big Society is to promote a political, social and cultural climate that increases the authority of local communities and individuals in the running of public life. It means regaining an authority that had been taken away form the direct control of the citizens by professional politicians.
The priorities of the Big Society are:
a) Give more authority to communities through processes of devolution and decentralization
b) Promote initiatives of organized voluntarism
c) Transfer authority from central institutions to local ones
d) Promote and support cooperatives, social enterprises, mutual aid companies and charity organizations
e) Increase the transparency of actions carried out by the central government
The first concrete act of the Big Society was to place at the disposal of organized charities a credit of 78 billion sterling and the conversion of 25% of public contracts into contracts assigned to the field of volunteerism.
Obviously the debate on the Big Society is, to say the least, a little wild. On one hand enlightened Conservatives applaud the responsabilization of citizens and the consequential questioning of the ‘Providence State' and on the other hand the Labour Party condemns a policy for the dismantling of the Welfare state with the excuse of the empowerment of citizens. The conservative extreme right criticizes the fact of too much money given to local communities and to community associations, the extreme left applauds the resources reserved for social enterprises.
We are dealing with a fundamental debate where the traditional categories of right and left are not much use, the ambiguities inherent in the idea of compassionate capitalism are more than evident but, and it must be clearly stated, the innovation personified by the will to decentralize the management of public matters from an organized, institutionalized and purely public centre towards widespread suburbs, part public and part private, should be received with interest and attention. Democracy and rights grow even from a heated and laical discussion on welfare, its inalienability and its limits.

4) Linda H. Chaudron, Peter G. Szilagyi, Wan Tang, Elizabeth Anson, Nancy L. Talbot, Holly I. M. Wadkins, Xin Tu, and Katherine L. Wisner (2010). Accuracy of Depression Screening Tools for Identifying Postpartum Depression Among Urban Mothers.
Pediatrics, Mar 2010; 125: e609 - e617.

An American research that shows how the prevalence of post-partum depression is higher among mothers of a low income who live in an urban outskirts context. Many women experience a transitory drop in humour after birth but only a fraction of these lead to a clear case of depression. In the United States 14% of new mothers experience a post-partum depression but this prevalence is significantly higher (almost 50%) among afro-american women of low income who live in urban contexts.



By the same authors:                Dancing the samba while piloting a jet plane   SouqBiblio: annotated international bibliography*  A Return to the Way leading to Happiness   Aporeia of empowerment  Deconstructing the paradigm of "migrant emergency"  Defend the ways of liberation  Describing reality but also changing it  Educate in complexity  Empowerment  Global health, local health: a paradigm of the failures of globalization   Health systems are not designed for the needs of citizens  Reject Ferocity, Not Migrants  Souqbiblio (number 1)  SouqBiblio: international annotated bibliography number 8  SouqBiblio: international annotated bibliography*  SouqBiblio: internazional annotated bibliography (number 6)  SouqBiblio: annotated international bibliography  SouqBiblio: annotated international bibliography  SouqBiblio: annotated international bibliography  SouqBiblio: annotated international bibliography  SouqBiblio: international annotated bibliography (number 5)  SouqBiblio: international annotated bibliography (number 3)  SouqBiblio: International annotated bibliography (number 7)  SouqBiblio: References (number 2)  The association Poverty - Mental Disorders and its implications for outcome and care provision   The Confusion to be managed  The paradigm of urban suffering  Time of Siege  Urban Resistance  Verbal violence and social paranoia 

Bookmark and Share

Center for urban suffering

The study centre wishes to study the phenomenon of urban suffering, in other words the suffering that is specific to the great metropolises. Urban Suffering is a category that describes the meeting of individual suffering with the social fabric that they inhabit. The description, the understanding and the transformation of the psychological and social dynamics that develop from the meeting of ...

Who we are

The Urban Suffering Studies Center - SOUQ - arises from Milan, a place of complexity and economic and social contradictions belonged to global world.Tightly linked to Casa della Carità Foundation, which provides assistance and care to unserved populations in Milan (such as immigrants legal and illegal, homeless, vulnerable minorities), the Urban Suffering Studies Center puts attention on ...


Centro studi Souq Management commitee: Laura Arduini, Virginio Colmegna (presidente), Silvia Landra, Simona Sambati, Benedetto Saraceno ; Scientific commitee: Mario Agostinelli, Angelo Barbato, Maurizio Bonati, Adolfo Ceretti, Giacomo Costa, Ota de Leonardis,  Giulio Ernesti, Sergio Escobar, Luca Formenton, Francesco Maisto, Ambrogio Manenti, Claudia Mazzucato, Daniela ...
< Ultimo aggiornamento
  Editorials   Theory waiting for practice   Practice waiting for theory   Papers   References  

Nuova pagina 1

ISSN 2282-5754 Souquaderni [online] by SOUQ - Centro Studi sulla Sofferenza Urbana - CF: 97316770151
Last update: 26/11/2020

[Area riservata]