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  • Author or Editor: John Eversley x
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This chapter discusses the measurability of social cohesion. It addresses how the present state of the science could be greatly improved by using a system called ‘Neighbourhood Knowledge Management’ (nkm), applied to normal local-authority-level administrative data and case studies. The chapter then pays attention to the practical and ethical issues involved in using such data and how they can be managed. The problems with existing measures of cohesion include: what is being measured; the sources of data; and how the data are analysed. The chapter shows the work done by the nkm team both for London Excels and in other projects to illustrate what can be done with administrative data to support work on cohesion. There are also challenges in using the administrative data. Administrative data have been identified as a major tool for the future of sociology and social policy.

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How do local communities effectively build peace and reconciliation before, during and after open violence? This trailblazing book gives practical examples, from the Global North, the former Soviet bloc and Global South, on communities addressing conflict in divided and contested societies.

The book draws on a range of critical perspectives and practitioner analysis. The diverse case studies demonstrate the considerable knowledge, skills, commitment, courage and relationships within local communities that a critical community development approach can support and encourage.

Concluding with activists’ perspectives on working with the challenges of violence, the book offers insights for both an understanding of the root causes of conflict and for bottom-up peacebuilding.

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This chapter introduces the book, explaining its rationale and purpose. It introduces the reader to an understanding of both peacebuilding and community development. In relation to the former there is a discussion about how the concept of peacebuilding has developed (drawing on Galtung, Lederach and more recent UN definitions). Community development is considered in terms of principles of community development in the context of divided societies (self-identification of community; collective action – participation/engagement; empowerment and the interface with both state and non-state power-holders). The core values and principles of both community development and peacebuilding are used to identify complementarities and differences. The chapter also offers a brief overview of the subsequent sections and chapters.

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In this chapter we draw together some of the themes from earlier chapters and outline what we think are the foundations for practice in peacebuilding through community development. We consider some of the theoretical foundations; we try to address some of the questions which practitioners on the ground might have about how you know what needs to be done, how to do it, how long it might take and how you know whether it is working. We also draw particularly on the editors’ experience of working in Northern Ireland as well as an appreciation of the importance of grounded community-based peacebuilding approaches supported by the members of the Foundations for Peace Network – a Network that was co-founded by Avila Kilmurray in 2004.

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