New Labour deployed community as a conceptual framework to rearticulate the state / citizen relationship to be enacted at and through new spaces of governance. An important example of this was how successive New Labour governments sought to renovate the social, political and economic cultures of poor neighbourhoods and generate trajectories of strong, empowered and ordered civic space. This was pursued through programmes such as the New Deal for Communities (NDC) that sought to invigorate and embed socially excluded citizens within localised regeneration projects. In attempting to construct community as a space through which personal and spatial renewal could be achieved, New Labour relied on problematic assumptions about the nature, scope and meaning of community and its relationship with individual social agents. Drawing on original research conducted in an NDC neighbourhood, Remaking Community addresses the interlinking uses of community in government rhetoric and practice. It explores why this concept was so central to the New Labour governing project and what it meant for individuals enveloped in the 'regeneration' of their citizenship and locality. It seeks to understand how community is conceptualised, applied, constructed, misunderstood, exploited, experienced, contested, mobilised and activated by both policy actors and neighbourhood residents and situates this discussion within an examination of the political, emotional and cultural impact of the regeneration experience. Offering a timely analysis of New Labour, regeneration and the politics of community, this book makes an original and important contribution to debates around new spaces of governance, citizen participation and the tackling social exclusion in poor neighbourhoods.
Andrew Wallace is a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
'Community has been at the heart of New Labour's social policies. This book provides the first overall assessment of community-centred policy programmes in relation to social exclusion, regeneration and law and order issues.' Peter Taylor-Gooby, University of Kent, UK 'Debates about citizenship, governance and social exclusion are fraught with claims and counter-claims. With European social democracy in retreat there is a greater need than ever to understand what governments like New Labour got wrong and what they got right. Andrew Wallace's book cuts through the complexities and helps us to face the challenges of the future more clearly.' Tony Fitzpatrick, University of Nottingham, UK 'The text is well written and the arguments clear, while the author's empirical material is often very illuminating. Although UK political debates affecting urban areas are moving on with the coalition government, there are still lessons for the present and future to be found in this study. ... Overall, this is an excellent book that adds substantially to knowledge about an important policy area, and will be of value for researchers and for students in later stages of their studies.' Housing Studies 'Remaking Community? offers a careful and rigorous account of both the 'recalibration' of the role and standing of the state and the more prosaic 'doing' of community within a specific project of urban regeneration. Of interest to human geography, urban studies, sociology, politics, community and citizenship studies, Remaking Community provides an evaluation of New Labour's focus on community and an original account of the complexities of urban regeneration, governance and the politics of social exclusion... provides the most stimulating discussion for a wide array of audiences.' Urban Geography Research Group 'Wallace's analysis succeeds in achieving the key aim he sets himself - that is, to trouble the assumption of a 'unified social experience' that the mainstream discourse of