Governments in Western Europe and North America have placed job creation initiatives at the heart of their policy for revitalizing deprived neighbourhoods. However, relying on this alone is problematic and these governments are becoming increasingly interested in finding ways of enabling communities to help themselves. Drawing upon original, in-depth studies of self-help activities in both deprived and affluent neighbourhoods in UK cities, this book examines why the populations of deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to be excluded not only from the labour market but also from adopting self-help practices in response to their situation. It also identifies the barriers which discourage participation in self-help projects. A combination of policies are advocated, bringing together innovative bottom-up initiatives such as LETS, time currencies and Employee Mutuals, with top-down policies such as Active Citizens’ Credits. This book instead suggests a fresh and positive approach towards revitalizing deprived neighbourhoods based on seeking the full-engagement, rather than merely the full-employment, of deprived populations.
’At a time when almost every discipline seems to be dominated by the conventional economic paradigms of market and paid work, Colin Williams is a fresh and realistic voice of sanity. This grounded view of life makes a real contribution to research and new policy thinking to improve day to day experience in disadvantaged areas.’ Ed Mayo, New Economics Foundation, UK ''…the book contains a good deal of useful information about local government finance in Europe.' Local Government Studies
Contents: Introduction. Rationales for a Self-help Approach: The employment problem; The persistence of self-help; Policy options and their implications. Self-help in Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods: Examining self-help activity; The extent and character of self-help; Providing for ourselves: self provisioning; Helping each other out: unpaid community work; Spreading the cash around: paid informal exchange; Barriers to participation in self-help. Developing Policies to Revitalise Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods: From full-employment to full-engagement; Bottom-up initiatives; Top-down approaches; Conclusions; References; Index.