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Crisis social policy and the resilience of the concept of community

Hancock, Lynn; Mooney, Gerry and Neal, Sarah (2012). Crisis social policy and the resilience of the concept of community. Critical Social Policy, 32(3) pp. 343–364.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261018312444410
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Abstract

This paper considers the continuing resilience of the notion of community in social policy making and wider political commentary in the contemporary UK. Focusing in particular on the ways in which community is negatively and positively invoked in narratives of the ‘big’ and ‘broken’ societies, it considers why the notion of community, so popular with the previous Labour government, continues to enchant the present Coalition government and has been given added resonance in the context of the economic crisis and of the ‘austerity’ measures adopted by the UK coalition government. The paper argues that placing community at the heart of current welfare provision illuminates a number of tensions in UK government’s policy-making agenda. Informed by a discussion of Liverpool - once one of the big society ‘laboratories’ - we highlight the contradictions between top-down, depoliticized understandings of community and the types of community engagement and participation that are to be found in poor, disadvantaged communities in particular. Such communities are also where the impact of UK government ‘austerity’ measures are being most keenly felt.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Authors
ISSN: 0261-0183
Keywords: community; welfare; policy; crisis; Big Society; broken society
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Social Policy and Criminology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 32839
Depositing User: Gerry Mooney
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2012 08:33
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 09:29
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/32839
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