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  • Author or Editor: Steve Rolfe x
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This chapter explores the interactions between the changing nature of Glasgow and contemporary community activism. Utilising three case studies of community activism in very different neighbourhoods, we investigate the ways in which differences in community history and capacity, as well as relations with the local state, shape forms of activism. Examining local activism in this way helps to understand and explain the boundaries and nature of communities within the city, and provides insights into complex processes of deindustrialisation and urban change, which have transformed Glasgow in recent decades. Whilst there are changes emerging from rapid demographic shifts in some areas and the growth of online activism, the wider picture is one of evolving continuity, as Glasgow’s long history of community activism persists into the 21st century.

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Housing has often been regarded as a ‘wobbly pillar’ of the welfare state due to its disjointed position between the public and private realms and the intractability of some problems to policy solutions. Indeed, we can ask whether a ‘housing sector’ exists at all, due to complex systems of governance, financialisation, policy divergence and overall fragmentation of housing-related social policy throughout the UK. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of housing policy, putting ‘the home’ and neighbourhoods into the spotlight. This chapter looks at some of the key emerging and re-emerging issues for housing policy in the UK through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter firstly outlines why housing was considered the ‘wobbly pillar’ going into 2019, including issues surrounding the financialisation of housing. Key COVID-19 housing-related policy responses are then examined in the context of emerging evidence that the pandemic is reinforcing inequalities in housing. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated underlying housing issues faced by more vulnerable groups, yet it has also created an opportunity to showcase radical policy options and highlight the importance of future-proofing housing to be more flexible, dynamic and better quality.

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