This chapter investigates ‘the turn to the local’ in UK social policy, drawing on the concept of ‘governance’. It regards this move towards the self-governance of local neighbourhoods as a genuine, yet contradictory, process. It observes that for New Labour, this process of ‘localisation’ is driven by communitarian ideas that posit the neighbourhood as the unit within which democracy can be revitalised and individuals motivated to act responsibly. It shows how the desire to devolve power to local citizens may fail as a result of particular assumptions about the nature of local space and a lack of understanding of how those citizens may wish to utilise opportunities for local governance, or of the structural contexts that help to shape their lives.
|Title of host publication||Social Policy Review 21|
|Subtitle of host publication||Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2009|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|