You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.

Books: Research

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This chapter looks at advanced community work practice, defined as community work activities within wider approaches to resolving the sociopolitical complexities of communities scarred by long-term division, hostility, conflict and oppression. The chapter draws on the experiences of people involved in peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and in anti-discriminatory community cohesion activities. The chapter invites White community workers to begin to decolonise their practice and consider the privileges they enjoy due to being white in comparison to people of colour.

The chapter also looks at the role of community work within community economic development and in particular the development and support of different forms of social enterprise. Lastly, it introduces some contemporary economic concepts, such as the foundational economy, which are potentially sympathetic and complementary to community work.

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This chapter by the late Neil Jameson provides an overview of broad-based organising, or community organising, in the UK, including the origins of the concept that Jameson and Alan Twelvetrees first encountered in the US. The chapter provides an account of the formation and development of Citizens UK and the methodology that individual Citizens groups and organisers employ: from how they identify a campaign to undertake, to how they build alliances around that issue with other organisations and interest groups. Jameson provides several examples of local and national successes that broad-based organisation have achieved. The chapter also explains how learning is at the heart of all that Citizens UK does with an emphasis on praxis and experiential learning.

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This chapter provides an overview of the origins and complexities of Salvation Army retail operations in the period before the First World War. Criticisms at the time and since identified a captive workforce and market, arguing retailing was a distraction from its spiritual aims. In response, the scope of retail operations evolved while the Salvation Army used its own publications to articulate, justify and advertise the production and consumption of Salvationist-made goods as a material embodiment of belonging to the social and spiritual community.

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This chapter develops a study of the municipality of Chalatenango. The type of local order in Chalatenango is defined as society-led, that is, an order shaped by an ecology of governance in which societal actors play a crucial role as public goods providers and violence regulators. The analysis shows that community organization and translocal dynamics are crucial to explaining violence containment. Local communities have managed to control the levels of lethal violence and deter criminal actors amid a national context characterized by state neglect and chronic violence. Community organization is not territorially bound but extends across transnational networks. Migrants are a source of livelihoods for the local population; they also contribute to providing public goods and participate in local forms of organization. Transnational networks have forged a migration corridor that enables immigration to the United States. In doing this, outmigration has worked as a safety valve that relieves social tensions and reduces grievances. Additionally, community organization informally contributes to the capacity of the local state to perform its functions, thereby shaping cooperative state–society relations.

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This chapter charts the development of today’s familiar model of the British charity shop. It shifts our attention away from the elusive charitable consumer and onto the charities and their local branches as fundraising retailers. The beginnings of the fair trade movement, the creation of trading companies and the hiring of professional trading directors were all less important to the charity shop’s early phases of mass expansion than older philanthropic and volunteering traditions which informed the associational culture of second-hand selling in local communities.

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This chapter presents a transcultural analysis of the commodification of Japanese culture at a charity bazaar in the late-Victorian North East of England. Despite the local area’s steel industry connections with modern Japan, the organizers of the Mikado Festival opted for an idealized fairyland misrepresentation of a pre-industrial Old Japan village in order to create a respectable environment for a Church fundraising event. The bazaar and the Japanese Shop opened two years later were both transcultural contact zones where imperialistic and cosmopolitan narratives co-existed.

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The book is a thorough exploration of practical aspects of community work and the related practices of social action and social planning. It is primarily for trainee and new community workers. Drawing on some of the best writers and thinkers in community work and community development, including Paulo Freire, Alison Gilchrist, Marilyn Taylor, Saul Alinsky, Jack Rothman, Margaret Ledwith and Gabriel Chanan, the book explores the theories that underpin community work. It sees community development, social action and social planning as the three main approaches for bringing about change in society. At the heart of all of these approaches is the community worker – working alone or as part of a team, and part of wider networks. The book helps the community worker consider their own development and self-care within the wider context of their work, which no doubt invites scrutiny from political figures, funders, managers and the community itself as well as bringing challenges in terms of knowing whether one is making a difference or not. The authors add a plethora of anecdotes and recollections from their own practice to help illustrate specific points and ideas. These also show the range of emotions that are encountered when working in a community.

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A Practical Guide

The sixth, fully updated edition of this bestselling guide links the theory and practice of community work in an insightful and relatable read for students and practitioners alike. With an accessible style, experienced author Alan Twelvetrees sets out the realities of practice in everyday community development (CD) work.

With a much-expanded section on specialist community work, the guide also features brand new sections on work in health, housing, with children, young people and those with disabilities and the changing role of IT, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition features:

• clear ‘how to’ guides for a variety of CD-related practice;

• case studies;

• end of chapter discussion points;

• signposts to digital resources;

• glossary.

This classic text provides a comprehensive overview of the knowledge required to work in community practice in the UK and is essential for anyone studying or working in the field.

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This chapter recapitulates the main elements of the analytical approach, key findings and the integral aspects of the empirical analysis. It discusses the findings and examines the trajectories of governance of the set of four cities from a cross-case perspective, taking the scope of the multifaceted transitions induced by the third wave of democratization in Latin America as a point of reference. Last, the chapter elaborates on empirical policy implications, emphasizing the need to develop a more comprehensive approach to address urban violence in Latin America, including a much-improved understanding of the conditions and processes enabling the entrenchment of criminal groups in local communities and nurturing illegal economies, on the one hand, and ensuring the endurance of state violence, on the other. Such a perspective entails the recognition of the diversity of cities in the region. In this regard, the chapter foregrounds the characteristics of peripheral cities and their implications for a richer understanding of the dynamics of urban violence and peace.

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This chapter draws out some overarching conclusions in relation to the principal role of most community workers, which is to enable. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic touched almost every aspect of our lives, but for all the disruption and trauma that it caused, it also reinvigorated calls for radical ideas such as universal basic income and a shorter working week. The chapter considers what impact these might have on community work and the community worker. Also, if automation and artificial intelligence will, as predicted, play a bigger role in the in the economy and labour market, the chapter asks to what extent community work – a ‘high-touch’ rather than high-tech practice – might remain relatively unimpacted. The chapter also draws on other social work disciplines in calling for greater awareness of the impact of trauma on people’s lives and their behaviours and decision making.

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