UK Localism in Transition and the Politics of Community (Studies in Social and Global Justice) (Hardcover)
This book explores the politics of localism, drawing on the work of groups in three communities in post-industrial Nottinghamshire. Third Way politics gave a high priority to local participation, seen as a way of rebuilding social networks, and shifting welfare provision from the state onto civil society. However, under increasingly difficult conditions of austerity, significant contradictions emerge between the aims of entrenching new markets for service provision, and reviving communities and democratic participation. Exploring in depth community organisers' understandings of political economy and its local effects, and the governance practices which set the frameworks for fiercely independent community groups, the book outlines the forms of politics which emerge. This includes a challenge to the dominant thinking of the 'neoliberal consensus', but also frustration and a sense of political communal loss which has left these communities alienated from both national politics and the often-unattainable benefits of global mobility - an alienation which makes the Brexit vote of 2016 explicable as the disruptive outcome of a slow-burning political crisis of long duration.
About the Author
Heather Watkins is Senior Lecturer in European Studies at Nottingham Trent University.