Community development was born out of a commitment to practising ways of empowering people to take collective control of their own lives. It requires profound changes in the ways in which societies are organized, and has held out the promise of heroic change. Although community development practitioners have been able to secure spaces for community development processes and policies, overall the successes of community development have been uneven and often quite modest. Indeed, the story of community development so far is one of the considerable unfinished businesses. Drawing on two research projects, this paper considers whether third-sector organizations, which are the main sites within which community development practice takes place, generate and nurture the types of active citizenship that are appropriate to community development activities. The paper develops a typology of active citizenship and considers manifestations of the types in seven countries. The applicability of the types to community development is dependent upon what form of community development is being considered. The paper argues that we need more than a settled form of community development based around social maintenance and defensive active citizenship. An unsettled and edgy community development is also needed that requires critical, proactive, visionary, cosmopolitan and active citizens who are prepared to challenge the existing power relations.
Field of Research
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified 1604 Human Geography 1608 Sociology 1605 Policy And Administration
Socio Economic Objective
940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified
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