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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is about local democracy, community and civic engagement in Britain. It looks at theoretical debates as to the meaning of local democracy, civic engagement and community together with a number of related concepts. The book also looks at the policy agenda around local democracy in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979. It includes the 'decline' in the role of political parties and falling voter turnout at local elections. The book concentrates on the developments beyond the realm of elections, political parties and formal political institutions. It focuses on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of the services. The book also focuses on the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social.

Local democracy, civic engagement and community

From New Labour to the Big Society


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