This chapter draws together the ideas in the book, focusing on the question of how the contribution of community development to strengthening civil society can be specified. It returns to the five ways in which community development might strengthen civil society. It identifies three key areas of challenge — the community development profession, communities, and civil society — before setting out possible future scenarios for community development. The concluding section re-states the need for community development to continue to struggle to hold the balance between providing support for grassroots action and engagement with policy issues. It also highlights the paramount importance of three agenda items facing community development and civil society: providing a reaffirmation of the need to strengthen participatory democracy, to respond to the continuing existence of poverty and social exclusion, and to challenge racism and xenophobia.
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