Part 3: Politicising the future

Editors: , , and

This is the first book in the series Rethinking Community Development and it sets the tone for the series as a whole by probing some fundamental challenges and dilemmas for community development today. As contributors address the book title, Politics, Power and Community Development, they raise issues of international relevance but which are, nonetheless, specific in their focus. In its three sections and 13 chapters, contributors explore how diverse political and power configurations shape and are shaped by community development processes. There are critical reflections on policy and practice in Taiwan, Australia, India, South Africa, Burundi, Germany, the USA, Ireland, Malawi, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazonia and the UK. While all authors direct their chapters explicitly towards community development, in some cases their contributions are informed by a particular policy interest or political question. These include: the commons and alternative economies; global governance and the (post) Washington Consensus; disability arts and the affirmation model; challenges to diversity and egalitarian policies; environmental justice in the context of oil exploration; gender equality and the successes and limitations of India’s Panchayat system; service delivery protests and democratic deficits; and the remaking of place in the name of cultural specificity and economic competitiveness. A recurring issue across the book is the dominance of neoliberalism internationally, and the extent to which practitioners, activists and programmes can challenge, critique, engage with or resist its influence.

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