Community Empowerment : Critical Perspectives from Scotland

The Edinburgh Papers, ‘Reclaiming Social Purpose in Community Education’ appeared in 2007 and are to be found on our Contemporary thoughts page. We are delighted to receive in 2010 the Glasgow Papers, ‘Community Empowerment.

The editorial introduction by Akwugo Jemelu and Mae Shaw begins:

Community development in Scotland has a rich and diverse history. It hasemerged from an ambivalent provenance: benevolent paternalism, social welfare (and control), and social and political action ‘from below’ in pursuit of social justice. It has been drawn upon to justify policies from left, right and centre of the political spectrum. It has been deployed in the state and voluntary sector and, more recently, has become embroiled in market competition. It is therefore a highly contested concept, with predictably unpredictable consequences.

What community development means at any particular time is defined by all those interests which have sought to name, frame and regulate it. It is the tensions and contradictions generated in the current context by the interface between these different interests – professional, political, ideological, social, economic – that this collection is concerned to explore. By bringing together a range of authors who locate their work both insideand outside the community development tradition, we wish to highlight different perspectives that examine how collective decision-making and action can be used either to strengthen or undermine social justice claims for marginalised groups. In doing so, we wish to present this volume as a contribution to critical debate about the role and effectiveness of
community development in contested contexts.

The Glasgow Papers: Community Empowerment

If anyone, especially students, would like an old-fashioned hard copy, let me know at There may be some available.

And, if anyone would like to review the papers – to repeat our plea from over on the IDYW site – we would be over the moon.

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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