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29 THREE Community development Community development has always been vulnerable to criticism that it is a term that is both vague and pretentious – claiming too much. Let us begin by taking two examples of how community development tackles local issues: • A community association based in an urban neighbourhood negotiates with the local authority to have a local refuse tip closed because of evidence of leaking gases. The tip is filled in, grassed over and becomes a small environmental park. It is owned by the local authority but is maintained and serviced

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Making connections in the European context

To what extent are the ideas and practice of community development across Europe similar? Community Development and Civil Society explores this question with special reference to the UK and Hungary and shows how community development connects powerfully with civil society, a concept that today has global significance.

Paul Henderson and Ilona Vercseg argue that community development is both a profession and a social movement and is relevant to a wide range of issues.They interweave case studies with discussion of principles and theory.The book's critical and accessible approach will appeal especially to students and practitioners.

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Editors: and

This book, the second title in the Rethinking Community Development series, starts from concern about increasing inequality worldwide and the re-emergence of community development in public policy debates.

It argues for the centrality of class analysis and its associated divisions of power to any discussion of the potential benefits of community development. It proposes that, without such an analysis, community development can simply mask the underlying causes of structural inequality. It may even exacerbate divisions between groups competing for dwindling public resources in the context of neoliberal globalisation.

Reflecting on their own contexts, a wide range of contributors from across the global north and south explore how an understanding of social class can offer ways forward in the face of increasing social polarisation. The book considers class as a dynamic and contested concept and examines its application in policies and practices past and present. These include local/global and rural/urban alliances, community organising, ecology, gender and education.

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Making spaces for community development offers an account of the key changes to the context and practice of community development since the 1970s, told through the experiences and insights of a group of highly experienced practitioners. The book, intended for those practising and interested in practising community development today, focuses on dilemmas arising from the shift to partnership working from a more confrontational model, and the professionalisation of the field.

Bringing together a wealth of experience and knowledge from across areas of play and youth work through to the environment, community enterprise, race equality, immigration and housing, the book raises key questions for contemporary debates and current practice.

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Editors: , , and

The increasing impact of neoliberalism across the globe means that a complex interplay of democratic, economic and managerial rationalities now frame the parameters and practices of community development. This book explores how contemporary politics, and the power relations it reflects and projects, is shaping the field today.

This first title in the timely Rethinking Community Development series presents unique and 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. It addresses the global dominance of neoliberalism, and the extent to which practitioners, activists and programmes can challenge, critique, engage with or resist its influence.

Addressing key dilemmas and challenges being navigated by students, academics, professionals and activists, this is a vital intellectual and practical resource.

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13 2 What is community development? This chapter focuses on different understandings of community development. As indicated in Chapter  1, we use ‘community development’ as an umbrella term to cover a range of different methods for working with communities: • to open up opportunities for collective action; • to improve living conditions and services; • to uphold and extend rights; and • to support individual advancement. We set out the core principles and processes that characterise community development and distinguish it from related approaches and

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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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107 6 Community development in action Community development can contribute to outcomes in many different policy fields: community safety and crime reduction, culture and the arts, education, environment and sustainable development, health and well-being, housing, planning, regeneration and local economic development among them. However, as the following sections demonstrate, many of these issues cannot be divided neatly into policy silos or dealt with by separate professional disciplines. Community development strategies that reduce inequalities and

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135 NINE The potential of community development Is community development sufficiently well equipped to deliver successful outcomes in the context of civil society and the challenges of the 21st century? That is the question we explore in this chapter. It is a pivotal chapter for three reasons: it expands on the five ways in which, in Chapter Two, we argue that community development can help communities to become part of civil society (challenging, defending, maintaining, recognising and strengthening civil society); it draws on the ideas presented in

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57 5Community development Introduction We now turn to community development, a term that covers a range of different practices. In Chapter Three we looked at a partial history of community development and its links to social work, and this chapter focuses on the practice implications of this approach to social work in the community. Having established some of the areas of practice that are relevant to students or professional social workers, we return to Hasan and Jenny to see how the knowledge, skills and values of community development might assist them

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