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Social Policy Review 21Analysis and debate in social policy, 2009$
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Kirstein Rummery, Ian Greener, and Chris Holden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423733

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423733.001.0001

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Spatial rescaling, devolution and the future of social welfare

Spatial rescaling, devolution and the future of social welfare

(p.267) Twelve Spatial rescaling, devolution and the future of social welfare
Social Policy Review 21

Michael Keating

Policy Press

This chapter investigates ‘the turn to the local’ in UK social policy, drawing on the concept of ‘governance’. It regards this move towards the self-governance of local neighbourhoods as a genuine, yet contradictory, process. It observes that for New Labour, this process of ‘localisation’ is driven by communitarian ideas that posit the neighbourhood as the unit within which democracy can be revitalised and individuals motivated to act responsibly. It shows how the desire to devolve power to local citizens may fail as a result of particular assumptions about the nature of local space and a lack of understanding of how those citizens may wish to utilise opportunities for local governance, or of the structural contexts that help to shape their lives.

Keywords:   UK social policy, self-governance, local neighbourhoods, New Labour, localisation, communitarian ideas, democracy

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