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Local community on trial.

Amin, A. (2005) 'Local community on trial.', Economy and society., 34 (4). pp. 612-633.


While plenty has been written about the reinvention of the social by the Third Way as a new governmentality of control, consensus, and social integration, less has been said about its subtle elision of social and the local, and the implications of this elision for urban and regional regeneration. This is the theme taken up by this paper, beginning with a critical appraisal of the recent turn by New Labour to community cohesion and social capital as a means of overcoming local poverty and disadvantage. It shows how the social has come to be redefined as community, localized, and thrown back at hard-pressed areas as both cause and solution in the area of social, political, and economic regeneration. The second half of the paper develops an alternative designation of the local-social that is less instrumentalist, decidedly a-moral (though equally ethical), agonistically political, and geographically unconstrained. It argues for a return to ideas of agonistic democracy and the society of commitments and connections so thoroughly repudiated by new versions of market social democracy.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Urban regeneration, Social capital, Community, New Labour, Localism.
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Record Created:10 Mar 2008
Last Modified:20 Oct 2010 14:30

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