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Disadvantaged by where you live?

Disadvantaged by where you live?: Neighbourhood governance in contemporary urban policy

Ian Smith
Eileen Lepine
Marilyn Taylor
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  • Book Info
    Disadvantaged by where you live?
    Book Description:

    Disadvantaged by where you live? distils lessons from work on neighbourhoods carried out within the Cities Research Centre of the University of the West of England over the past seven years. It offers a major contribution to academic debates on the neighbourhood both as a sphere of governance and as a point of public service delivery under New Labour since 1997. The book explores how 'the neighbourhood' has been used in policy in the UK; what the 'appropriate contribution' of neighbourhood governance is and how this relates to concepts of multi-level governance; the tensions that are visible at the neighbourhood level and what this tells us about wider governance issues. The book explores and reflects on the notion of neighbourhood governance from a variety of perspectives that reflect the unique depth and breadth of the Centre's research programme. Neighbourhood governance is examined in relation to: multi-level governance and city-regions; local government; mainstreaming; cross-national differences in neighbourhood policy; community and civil society; diversity; different conceptions of democracy; and, evaluation and learning. In doing so, the book identifies useful conceptual tools for analysing the present and future contribution of policy to neighbourhoods.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-251-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. iv-iv)
  2. Notes on the contributors
    (pp. vi-viii)
  3. ONE Introduction: of neighbourhoods and governance
    (pp. 1-20)
    Eileen Lepine, Ian Smith, Helen Sullivan and Marilyn Taylor

    In 1997, a New Labour administration came to power. Its manifesto promised to ‘ help build strong families and strong communities, and lay the foundations of a modern welfare state in pensions and community care’ (Labour Party, 1997, p 5), as well as cleaning up politics and decentralising power through the restoration of ‘ good local government’ (1997, p 29). There was, after all, such a thing as society – not just families and individuals¹ – and some of New Labour’s aims for the revival of society were to be pursued through a neighbourhood connection.

    For successive New Labour administrations the neighbourhood...

  4. TWO Theories of ‘neighbourhood’ in urban policy
    (pp. 21-42)
    Helen Sullivan and Marilyn Taylor

    The concept of ‘neighbourhood’ has become increasingly powerful in urban policy and academic discourse. This is illustrated in England both by the targeting of policies at neighbourhood level and also by investment in the production and dissemination of meaningful neighbourhood-level data and the dedication of academic centres and think tanks to the study of neighbourhoods. However, the concept itself remains contested, its use accompanied by ongoing debates about definition and constitution as well as any contribution to the achievement of key policy goals.

    Kearns and Parkinson (2001, p 2103) encapsulate the state of the contemporary debate in their declaration that...

  5. THREE Neighbourhood as a new focus for action in the urban policies of West European states
    (pp. 43-64)
    Rob Atkinson and Laurence Carmichael

    Concern about social exclusion in European societies has led to a growing emphasis, across Europe, on neighbourhoods and particularly on ‘neighbourhoods in crisis’ (quartiers en crise). These are the areas deemed to require ‘special’ forms of intervention, usually in the form of area-based initiatives (ABIs). Such concerns have been related to a strong focus on social exclusion/social inclusion (and associated notions such as insertion and integration) within European societies and with a growing recognition that developments are taking distinct spatial forms that are in danger of becoming deeply embedded. In most West European countries, especially in their cities, the economic...

  6. FOUR Under construction – the city-region and the neighbourhood: new actors in a system of multi-level governance?
    (pp. 65-82)
    Rob Atkinson

    In recent years the notions of city-region and neighbourhood have gained growing prominence in both policy and academic fields; in a sense both are increasingly seen as ‘natural units’ for analysis and policy focus in terms of addressing a range of problems facing urban areas. This emphasis on the city-region is by no means a trend unique to the UK. Across Europe, under the growing pressure of globalisation and the apparent decline of the nation state, the city-region (or metropolitan region) has increasingly been defined as the natural focus for economic development policies (see Le Galès, 2002, pp 156-9). Cities...

  7. FIVE More local than local government: the relationship between local government and the neighbourhood agenda
    (pp. 83-104)
    Eileen Lepine and Helen Sullivan

    Tracing the fortunes of English local government, from the establishment of the principle of elected local self-government in the mid-19th century through to the programme of ‘modernisation’ that the system is undergoing in the 21st century at the behest of ‘New Labour’, reveals the extent to which change has been the dominant feature of its history (Wilson and Game, 1998). Post-1945 much of that change has been driven by central government reform and, while local government has been able to draw on its own institutional resources to help it adapt and absorb some of the more radical reform proposals (Sullivan,...

  8. SIX Neighbourhoods, democracy and citizenship
    (pp. 105-124)
    Joanna Howard and David Sweeting

    The focus of this chapter is an exploration of the nature of democracy in neighbourhoods in England in the context of the government’s neighbourhoods agenda. The emphasis on neighbourhood governance in Labour’s third term promises to reconfigure local democracy and the neighbourhood level is presented as having the potential for widespread citizen participation and engagement. Nevertheless, aside from a vague and often repeated assertion that ‘neighbourhood arrangements must be consistent with local representative democracy’ (ODPM/HO, 2005, p 16), government prescription on the nature of democracy in neighbourhoods is ambiguous.

    The chapter is divided into three sections. First, the following (not...

  9. SEVEN Community leadership cycles and neighbourhood governance
    (pp. 125-144)
    Derrick Purdue

    Successive government documents have highlighted the role of the local authority in providing community leadership (HM Treasury, 2002; Home Office, 2004; CLG, 2006). This is particularly important in the context of the move to governance, which depends on collaboration between sectors, on the establishment of institutional arrangements for partnership and on the engagement of all sectors including local communities. Indeed, theories of collaboration emphasise the importance of new approaches to leadership that can articulate and resolve the tensions between sectors (Stewart, 2003). But equally significant at the neighbourhood level is the quality of leadership from within the local community itself....

  10. EIGHT Neighbourhood governance and diversity: the diverse neighbourhood
    (pp. 145-164)
    Yasminah Beebeejaun and Lucy Grimshaw

    A widespread recognition of the diversity of the society in which we live has raised concerns, among politicians and professionals alike, that we are drifting towards becoming a divided nation. There are increasing anxieties surrounding ‘multicultural’ Britain (Cantle, 2001; Parekh and Commission on the Future of Multi-ethnic Britain, 2001; Blair, 2006). Such discussions and the concerns they raise are not new; nor is the exhortation to face problems ‘together aspartners’ (Campbell, 1945, p 8; emphasis in original). Moreover, ethnic and gender-based inequalities within society continue to be documented (Macpherson, 1999; Morris et al, 2004). The neighbourhood is often seen...

  11. NINE Mainstreaming and neighbourhood governance: the importance of process, power and partnership
    (pp. 165-184)
    Ian Smith, Joanna Howard and Laura Evans

    One of the key themes of contemporary urban policy in England is that supplementary urban regeneration programmes such as the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal (NSNR) cannot on their own tackle deeply ingrained and complex problems of area-based disadvantage. Disadvantage and exclusion must rather be addressed through existing ‘ core’ (mainstream) expenditure on the public services that are already present in these neighbourhoods. From this perspective, mainstreaming, for contemporary policy makers, is a multifaceted transformation process that goes beyond merely spending more money in disadvantaged areas.

    Key public services such as the police, education authorities and health trusts hold important...

  12. TEN Evaluation, knowledge and learning in neighbourhood governance: the case of the New Deal for Communities
    (pp. 185-204)
    Lucy Grimshaw and Ian Smith

    Knowledge is a vital resource within governance. One of the justifications given for neighbourhood governance in neighbourhood renewal is its capacity to incorporate the local knowledge of residents into local regeneration schemes. This chapter concentrates on the ways in which formalised explicit knowledge about the actual and likely outcomes of policy interventions within neighbourhood renewal is produced, managed and results in change.

    New Labour administrations have promoted the learning of lessons, knowledge management and ‘evidence-based’ policy making and policy delivery. However, identifying the flows of knowledge within neighbourhood governance is not a simple story because it touches on the nature...

  13. ELEVEN The future of neighbourhoods in urban policy
    (pp. 205-220)
    Eileen Lepine, Ian Smith and Marilyn Taylor

    Neighbourhoods matter to all of us, and they matter most to those whose choices (about where and how they live) are most restricted. It is in the neighbourhood that global forces and government policy intersect with everyday life. Although for many of us neighbourhoods may not be at the centre of our existence, nonetheless, those of us who can afford to choose select the neighbourhoods where we live with care, looking for somewhere that offers us safety, good neighbours and access to good local schools and other services. As the 2006 Local Government White Paper puts it, ‘[w] e all...