New Neighbourhoods, New Citizens? Challenging 'Community' as a Framework for Social and Moral Regeneration under New Labour in the UK

Wallace, A; (2010) New Neighbourhoods, New Citizens? Challenging 'Community' as a Framework for Social and Moral Regeneration under New Labour in the UK. International journal of urban and regional research, 34 (4). pp. 805-819. ISSN 0309-1317 DOI:

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The article asserts that a model of 'community' was used by the UK's New Labour government as a normative rationale for the regeneration and governance of designated urban spaces. The goal of this article is to offer a critical examination of the basis and application of this rationale, arguing that it inscribed aspects of social and urban policy with an anaemic meaning of 'community' which foreclosed the multiplicities, tensions and differences of the local. In particular, the article will argue that in seeking to empower 'cohesive' and 'sustainable' communities, policy circumscribed local voices and obscured the complex interplay that constitutes local life worlds. It will offer a grounded three-part critical review of the depoliticized account of 'community' propagated by New Labour and argue for a more nuanced analysis of the neighbourhood as an unstable field of social exchange that problematizes attempts at 'empowerment' and neighbourhood management. Resume Le gouvernement du New Labour britannique s'est servi d'un modele de 'communaute' comme logique normative pour la regeneration et la gouvernance d'espaces urbains definis. Offrant un examen critique du fondement et de l'application de cette logique, l'article avance que celle-ci a marque certains aspects des politiques publiques sociales et urbaines d'une signification anemique de la 'communaute' qui exclut les multiplicites, tensions et differences propres au local. En visant une autonomie de communautes 'homogenes' et 'perennes', l'action publique a notamment limite les prises de parole locales et embrouille les interactions complexes qui constituent les univers de la vie locale. L'article propose une etude critique motivee en trois parties du recit depolitise de la 'communaute' diffuse par le New Labour. De plus, il defend une analyse plus nuancee du quartier en tant que champ instable d'echange social, qui met en question les tentatives de gestion des quartiers et d'autonomisation par empowerment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: community, New Labour, regeneration, UK, GOVERNANCE, GOVERNMENT, SPACES, PLACE
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Web of Science ID: 284895200005


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