Rebuilding Community

Edited by John Pierson and Joan Smith.
Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 0333 74765 8

Contributors from the US, the UK and France
view innovative approaches to community-building and evaluation.
The book provides an insightful, informative and often provocative
focus on local co-ordination, popular responses to social inclusion
and the emergence of locally “dispersed” politics. The authors
critically assess the direction and effectiveness of local policies
by maintaining a strong commitment to community and inclusion.

The editors present an overview of holistic
approaches and “comprehensive community initiatives”. Anne Kubisch
and Rebecca Stone explain how a “theory of change” framework has
assisted community-building in US initiatives, while Kubisch, James
Connell and Karen Fulbright-Anderson underline the value of the
theory of change as a way of evaluating outcomes in initiatives.
Keith Lawrence controversially sets US initiatives in the wider
context of urban policy.

UK readers should find Julien Damon’s account
of French urban policy informative. Sarah Pierson and Gary Craig
provide a critical account of British strategic area-based
initiatives. Chris Miller covers the emergence of increasingly
holistic approaches in UK initiatives, but cautions that these have
produced only limited benefits to date.

Brian Jacobs is professor of public
policy, school of health, Staffordshire University.

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