Regenerating the City: People, Politics, Power and the Public Sphere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The transformative potential that has come to be associated with network- ing in all areas of social, economic and political life, not least initiatives designed to tackle urban deprivation, is premised upon the idea that better outcomes prevail when state, market and civil society actors work together in partnership to agree and implement change. Such a perspective is informed by two underlying and related assumptions; first, an understanding of democracy as being essentially deliberative in nature; second, an understanding of social and political change as being essentially consensus based. An agonistic model and alternative explanation questioning these assumptions and the ‘transformative’ claims made on behalf of partnership is presented in this article. In contrast to what is termed a ‘neo-liberal orthodox’ approach an alternative interpretation of regeneration located within a radical conceptualisation of civil society is proposed. Regeneration, it is argued, is better conceptualised in terms of contestation between state, market and third-sector interests with better outcomes for communities prevailing when third-sector actors develop the legitimacy and power to engage politically within the context of a contested public sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalLocal Government Studies
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2014

Fingerprint

power politics
civil society
politics
regeneration
market
political change
networking
social change
deprivation
social economics
democracy
legitimacy
interpretation
economics
community
city
public

Keywords

  • Urban regeneration
  • neo-liberalism
  • community organising
  • public sphere
  • power
  • politics

Cite this

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title = "Regenerating the City: People, Politics, Power and the Public Sphere",
abstract = "The transformative potential that has come to be associated with network- ing in all areas of social, economic and political life, not least initiatives designed to tackle urban deprivation, is premised upon the idea that better outcomes prevail when state, market and civil society actors work together in partnership to agree and implement change. Such a perspective is informed by two underlying and related assumptions; first, an understanding of democracy as being essentially deliberative in nature; second, an understanding of social and political change as being essentially consensus based. An agonistic model and alternative explanation questioning these assumptions and the ‘transformative’ claims made on behalf of partnership is presented in this article. In contrast to what is termed a ‘neo-liberal orthodox’ approach an alternative interpretation of regeneration located within a radical conceptualisation of civil society is proposed. Regeneration, it is argued, is better conceptualised in terms of contestation between state, market and third-sector interests with better outcomes for communities prevailing when third-sector actors develop the legitimacy and power to engage politically within the context of a contested public sphere.",
keywords = "Urban regeneration, neo-liberalism, community organising, public sphere, power, politics",
author = "Paul Bunyan",
note = "Abram, S. 2007. “Participatory Depoliticisation: The Bleeding Heart of Neo-Liberalism.” In Cultures et Pratiques Participatives: Perspectives Comparatives, edited by C. Neveu. Paris: l’Harmattan. Alinsky, S. 1989. Reveille for Radicals. New York: Vintage Books. Bunyan, P. 2013. “Partnership, the Big Society and Community Organizing: Between Romanticizing, Problematizing and Politicizing Community.” Community Development Journal 48 (1): 119–133. doi:10.1093/cdj/bss014. Bunyan, P. 2014. “Re-conceptualizing Civil Society: Towards a Radical Understanding.” VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 25 (2): 538–552. doi:10.1007/s11266-013-9352-y. Camden. 2013. Camden Equality Taskforce – Final Report, May 2013. http://camden.gov. uk/equalitytaskforce. Chambers, E. 2003. Roots for Radicals. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. Crick, B. 1992. In Defence of Politics. London: Penguin Books. Davies, J. S. 2007. “The Limits of Partnership: An Exit-Action Strategy for Local Democratic Inclusion.” Political Studies 55: 779–800. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00677.x. DeFilippis, J., R. Fisher, and E. Shragge. 2010. Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing. London: Rutgers University Press. Gaventa, J. 1980. Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebelion in an Appalachian Valley. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Gecan, M. 2002. Going Public. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Geddes, M. 2006. “Partnership and the Limits to Local Governance in England: Institutionalist Analysis and Neoliberalism.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30 (1): 76–97. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2006.00645.x. Glasman, M. 2010. “Society not State: The Challenge of the Big Society.” Public Policy Research 17 (2): 59–63. doi:10.1111/j.1744-540X.2010.00604.x. Goverde, H., P. G. Cerny, M. Haugaard, and H. Lentner. 2000. Power in Contemporary Politics: Theories, Practices, Globalizations. London: Sage Publications. Habermas, J. 1984. The Theory of Communicative Action. Translated by T. McCarthy. Cambridge, MA: Polity. Hall, S. 2003. “New Labour’s Double-Shuffle.” Soundings 24: 10–25. Harvey, D. 2005. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Henderson, P. 2006. “From Recognition to Support: Community Development Workers in the United Kingdom.” Community Development Journal 41 (3): 277–292. doi:10.1093/ cdj/bsi063. Islington. 2011. Closing the gap: The final report of The Islington Fairness Commission, June, 2011. http://www.islington.gov.uk/fairness. Lawless, P., and S. Pearson. 2012. “Outcomes from Community Engagement in Urban Regeneration: Evidence from England’s New Deal for Communities Programme.” Planning Theory and Practice 13 (4): 509–527. doi:10.1080/14649357.2012.728003. Liverpool. 2012. Come Together: The report of the Liverpool Fairness Commission, May, 2012. http://liverpoolfairnesscommission.com/downloads/Fairness_Report.pdf. Manchester. 2013. Greater Manchester Poverty Commission: Recommendations Report, January, 2013. http://www.povertymanchester.org. Matthews, P. 2010. “Mind the Gap? The Persistence of Pathological Discourses in Urban Regeneration Policy.” Housing, Theory and Society 27 (3): 221–240. doi:10.1080/ 14036090903326452. Morse, S., and N. McNamara. 2006. “Analysing Institutional Partnerships in Development: A Contract between Equals or a Loaded Process?” Progress in Development Studies 6 (4): 321–336. doi:10.1191/1464993406ps146oa. Downloaded by [81.155.173.85] at 01:03 23 February 2015 Mouffe, C. 2002. Politics and Passions: The Stakes of Democracy. London: Centre for the Study of Democracy. Murphy, M. 2002. “Social Partnership – Is It the Only Game in Town?” Community Development Journal 37 (1): 80–90. doi:10.1093/cdj/37.1.80. Newcastle. 2012. Fair share, Fair play, Fair go, Fair say: Report of the Newcastle Fairness Commission, July. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/socialrenewal/engagement/ fairnesscommission/documents/fairnessreport.pdf. Newman, J., and J. Clarke. 2009. Publics, Politics and Power: Remaking the Public in Public Services. London: Sage Publications. Sennett, R. 2011. Why Complexity Improves the Quality of City Life, Cities, Health and Well-Being, Urban Age: A Worldwide Investigation into the Future of Cities, Hong Kong, November. London: London School of Economics. Shaw, M. 2007. “Community Development and the Politics of Community.” Community Development Journal 43 (1): 24–36. doi:10.1093/cdj/bsl035. Somers, J., and S. Bradford. 2006. “Discourses of Partnership in Multi-agency Working in the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland.” Irish Journal of Sociology 15 (2): 67–85. Tett, L. 2005. “Partnerships, Community Groups and Social Inclusion.” Studies in Continuing Education 27 (1): 1–15. doi:10.1080/01580370500056364. Wills, J. 2009. “The Living Wage.” Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture 42: 33– 46. doi:10.3898/136266209789024933. Wills, J. 2013. “London’s Olympics in 2012: The good, the Bad and an Organising Opportunity.” Political Geography. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2012.12.003. York. 2012. A better York for everyone – The York Fairness Commission: Findings and Recommendations, September, 2012. www.yorkfairnesscommission.org.uk.",
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Regenerating the City: People, Politics, Power and the Public Sphere. / Bunyan, Paul.

In: Local Government Studies, Vol. 41, No. 3, 28.11.2014, p. 1-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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S. 2007. “The Limits of Partnership: An Exit-Action Strategy for Local Democratic Inclusion.” Political Studies 55: 779–800. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00677.x. DeFilippis, J., R. Fisher, and E. Shragge. 2010. Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing. London: Rutgers University Press. Gaventa, J. 1980. Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebelion in an Appalachian Valley. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Gecan, M. 2002. Going Public. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Geddes, M. 2006. “Partnership and the Limits to Local Governance in England: Institutionalist Analysis and Neoliberalism.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30 (1): 76–97. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2006.00645.x. Glasman, M. 2010. “Society not State: The Challenge of the Big Society.” Public Policy Research 17 (2): 59–63. doi:10.1111/j.1744-540X.2010.00604.x. Goverde, H., P. G. Cerny, M. Haugaard, and H. Lentner. 2000. Power in Contemporary Politics: Theories, Practices, Globalizations. London: Sage Publications. Habermas, J. 1984. The Theory of Communicative Action. Translated by T. McCarthy. Cambridge, MA: Polity. Hall, S. 2003. “New Labour’s Double-Shuffle.” Soundings 24: 10–25. Harvey, D. 2005. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Henderson, P. 2006. “From Recognition to Support: Community Development Workers in the United Kingdom.” Community Development Journal 41 (3): 277–292. doi:10.1093/ cdj/bsi063. Islington. 2011. Closing the gap: The final report of The Islington Fairness Commission, June, 2011. http://www.islington.gov.uk/fairness. Lawless, P., and S. Pearson. 2012. “Outcomes from Community Engagement in Urban Regeneration: Evidence from England’s New Deal for Communities Programme.” Planning Theory and Practice 13 (4): 509–527. doi:10.1080/14649357.2012.728003. Liverpool. 2012. Come Together: The report of the Liverpool Fairness Commission, May, 2012. http://liverpoolfairnesscommission.com/downloads/Fairness_Report.pdf. Manchester. 2013. Greater Manchester Poverty Commission: Recommendations Report, January, 2013. http://www.povertymanchester.org. Matthews, P. 2010. “Mind the Gap? The Persistence of Pathological Discourses in Urban Regeneration Policy.” Housing, Theory and Society 27 (3): 221–240. doi:10.1080/ 14036090903326452. Morse, S., and N. McNamara. 2006. “Analysing Institutional Partnerships in Development: A Contract between Equals or a Loaded Process?” Progress in Development Studies 6 (4): 321–336. doi:10.1191/1464993406ps146oa. Downloaded by [81.155.173.85] at 01:03 23 February 2015 Mouffe, C. 2002. Politics and Passions: The Stakes of Democracy. London: Centre for the Study of Democracy. Murphy, M. 2002. “Social Partnership – Is It the Only Game in Town?” Community Development Journal 37 (1): 80–90. doi:10.1093/cdj/37.1.80. Newcastle. 2012. Fair share, Fair play, Fair go, Fair say: Report of the Newcastle Fairness Commission, July. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/socialrenewal/engagement/ fairnesscommission/documents/fairnessreport.pdf. Newman, J., and J. Clarke. 2009. Publics, Politics and Power: Remaking the Public in Public Services. London: Sage Publications. Sennett, R. 2011. Why Complexity Improves the Quality of City Life, Cities, Health and Well-Being, Urban Age: A Worldwide Investigation into the Future of Cities, Hong Kong, November. London: London School of Economics. Shaw, M. 2007. “Community Development and the Politics of Community.” Community Development Journal 43 (1): 24–36. doi:10.1093/cdj/bsl035. Somers, J., and S. Bradford. 2006. “Discourses of Partnership in Multi-agency Working in the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland.” Irish Journal of Sociology 15 (2): 67–85. Tett, L. 2005. “Partnerships, Community Groups and Social Inclusion.” Studies in Continuing Education 27 (1): 1–15. doi:10.1080/01580370500056364. Wills, J. 2009. “The Living Wage.” Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture 42: 33– 46. doi:10.3898/136266209789024933. Wills, J. 2013. “London’s Olympics in 2012: The good, the Bad and an Organising Opportunity.” Political Geography. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2012.12.003. York. 2012. A better York for everyone – The York Fairness Commission: Findings and Recommendations, September, 2012. www.yorkfairnesscommission.org.uk.

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