This chapter provides a historical account of different models of community development mainly as they have emerged in the UK but with reference to more global perspectives, as propounded by the International Association for Community Development (IACD) and the United Nations. Community development has become increasingly professionalised but still retains a strong activist base and focus on civil society. In Britain, community development has to some extent been co-opted as a means of community engagement and empowerment, resulting in a delicate balancing act between the state agenda and community interests. In many ways it has highlighted the role of community practitioners, those who work at the interface between statutory bodies and citizens, in ensuring that the users of services can be involved in decision-making and the co-production of agreed outcomes, such as improved community safety or economic regeneration.
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