Community Initiatives: Patterns and Prospects

summary:

Community policing, community care, community charge, community architecture... Such labels are fashionable, but why the enthusiasm? What does it all add up to? Does the terminology reflect a genuine change in how things are run, or is it largely rhetorical?

This review of community initiatives is in two parts. The first looks at what has been happening, exploring the role of 'the community' in modern Britain and the influence of community policy and initiatives. The second part examines case studies of particular community initiatives - local government decentralisation, community care, community policing, community architecture and others - looking at what the community element really means and how far in practice the promise is matched by achievement.

This is an early review of an important trend in British public policy and social life. It provides guidance to policy makers, to those administering community policies and to people wanting to set up their own community project.