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  • Author or Editor: Rowland Atkinson x
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Crime, community, and British urban policy

This collection adds weight to an emerging argument that suggests that policies in place to make cities better places are inextricably linked to an attempt to civilize, pacify and regulate crime and disorder in urban areas, contributing to a vision of an urban renaissance which is perhaps as much about control as it is about the broader physical and social renewal of our towns and cities.

The book has three key themes: the theories, strategies and assumptions underpinning the securing of 'Urban Renaissance'; the agendas of current urban policy in the field of crime control; and, thirdly, the role of communities within these agendas. The book provides focused discussions and engagement with these issues from a range of scholars who examine policy connections that can be traced between social, urban and crime policy and the wider processes of regeneration in British towns and cities. The book also seeks to develop our understanding of policies, theories and practices surrounding contemporary British urban policy where a move from concerns with 'urban renaissance' to those of sustainable communities clearly intersect with issues of community security, policing and disorder.

Providing a rare disciplinary crossover between urban studies, criminology and community studies, "Securing an Urban Renaissance" will be essential reading for academics and students in criminology, social policy and human geography concerned with the future of British cities and the political debates shaping the regulation of conduct, crime and disorder in these spaces.

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This chapter studies the position of the wealthy and their relationship to society at large. It specifically addresses the question of the relative invisibility of the rich, and a related problem — the issue of connecting the wealthy to the kinds of social problems that are so evident to those who live less-secluded lives. Social research has long observed and analysed those at the social bottom — endless studies of poverty, crime, segregation, and what some have seen as exotic portrayals of the excluded and marginal. From the 1960s onwards, this singular viewpoint generated increasing concerns that sociology and related disciplines were acting as a wing of the state and corporate funders who wished to understand, discipline, and contain problem groups and problem people.

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This chapter examines recent empirical work and policy, and considers some aspects of current social and urban change that seem likely to lead to increasingly inequitable future outcomes. One major theme present in the chapter is that a growing identification of community sustainability with social diversity through public policy actions will be consistently undermined by social forces. These forces are related to social affinity and fear/security that is operating in a context of increasing social inequalities.

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This chapter pinpoints how ASB interventions have been extended from housing estates to city centres in order to handle begging and homelessness. It links this expansion in scales of intervention to the neoliberal discourses of city competitiveness. It then criticises the present policy emphasis on informal mechanisms of social control, where the residents of deprived communities are considered as ‘their own saviours’. The chapter also introduces the notion of ‘compounded citizenship’ and calls for policy situations that are aimed at addressing the powerful social forces that led to the social geography of ASB.

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English

Policy discourse and interventions relating to disorder perceive a lack of organisational capacity to deal with these problems in high-crime and deprived areas. This article draws on research looking at the relative propensities to deal with disorder within deprived and affluent neighbourhoods. We find that deprived areas may be characterised as chaotic and disorganised but also that residents in these areas appear more likely to intervene in acts of disorder. Nevertheless, residents in all neighbourhoods did not want to engage directly with local crime problems. This challenges current policy with its aim of empowering communities to deal with crime, and appears to burden rather than empower residents.

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English

There is interest within the social exclusion debate about the extent to which people in deprived social housing estates are socially isolated and their material disadvantages reinforced by exclusion from job opportunities and inward-looking and negative social norms. One approach to this problem has been the introduction of a social mix through the development of new housing for owneroccupation. Through interviews with and diaries kept by residents in three Scottish estates this article charts residents’ networks and assesses the potential for owner-occupation to ‘reconnect’ existing residents with society beyond the local neighbourhood. The article concludes that owners and renters in regeneration areas largely inhabit different social worlds and that the introduction of owner-occupation makes little difference to renters’ networks. Policy implications include the need to meet the housing aspirations of homeowners in these areas, and the effects of promoting largescale commercial developments based on heavy car use in towns and cities.

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Promoting Social Justice in a World Falling Apart

What would it take to make society better? For the majority, conditions are getting worse and this will continue unless strong action is taken. This book offers a wide range of expert contributors outlining what might help to make better societies and which mechanisms, interventions and evidence are needed when we think about a better society.

The book looks at what is needed to prevent the proliferation of harm and the gradual collapse of civil society. It argues that social scientists need to cast aside their commitment to the established order and its ideological support systems, look ahead at the likely outcomes of various interventions and move to the forefront of informed political debate.

Providing practical steps and policy programmes, this is ideal for academics and students across a wide range of social science fields and those interested in social inequality.

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This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about the role of crime, community, and urban policy in urban renaissance in Great Britain. The book discusses the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the urban renaissance and crime and disorder agendas, and their growing intersection. It also examines in detail existing and emerging political agendas and policies, and explores in depth different aspects of the role of communities within the emergent crime and renewal agenda. One of the author's core contentions in the book is that criminal-justice and policing systems have extended their remit and relevance to urban policy and regeneration initiatives through a process of ‘governing through crime’.

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This book adds weight to an emerging argument which suggests that policies in place to make cities better places are inextricably linked to an attempt to civilise, pacify, and regulate crime and disorder in urban areas, contributing to a vision of an urban renaissance that is perhaps as much about control as it is about the broader physical and social renewal of our towns and cities. It has three key themes: the theories, strategies, and assumptions underpinning the securing of ‘Urban Renaissance’; the agendas of current urban policy in the field of crime control; and, thirdly, the role of communities within these agendas. The book provides focused discussions and engagement with these issues from a range of scholars who examine policy connections that can be traced between social, urban, and crime policy and the wider processes of regeneration in British towns and cities. It also seeks to develop our understanding of policies, theories, and practices surrounding contemporary British urban policy, where a move from concerns with ‘urban renaissance’ to those of sustainable communities clearly intersects with issues of community security, policing, and disorder.

Full Access

This book adds weight to an emerging argument which suggests that policies in place to make cities better places are inextricably linked to an attempt to civilise, pacify, and regulate crime and disorder in urban areas, contributing to a vision of an urban renaissance that is perhaps as much about control as it is about the broader physical and social renewal of our towns and cities. It has three key themes: the theories, strategies, and assumptions underpinning the securing of ‘Urban Renaissance’; the agendas of current urban policy in the field of crime control; and, thirdly, the role of communities within these agendas. The book provides focused discussions and engagement with these issues from a range of scholars who examine policy connections that can be traced between social, urban, and crime policy and the wider processes of regeneration in British towns and cities. It also seeks to develop our understanding of policies, theories, and practices surrounding contemporary British urban policy, where a move from concerns with ‘urban renaissance’ to those of sustainable communities clearly intersects with issues of community security, policing, and disorder.

Full Access