Spatial rescaling, devolution and the future of social welfare

Michael Keating*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Policy Review 21
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2009
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781847427410
ISBN (Print)9781847423733
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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