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    Sustaining communities: setting the agenda

    O'Callaghan, Cian and Corcoran, Mary and Fuller, Wendy Irene (2012) Sustaining communities: setting the agenda. GeoJournal, 77 (2). pp. 135-140. ISSN 0343-2521

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    The concept of ‘sustaining communities’ has been mobilised in myriad ways across academic, political and policy domains, despite the tendency of the term to defy easy definition (Boyle et al. 2008; Brownhill and Carpenter 2009; Davies 2002; Raco 2005; Schofield 2002). The idea of sustaining communities is generally thought to be a good one, though the precise means through which it may be achieved often remain opaque. The rationale underlying this special issue is to explore this concept from a multidisciplinary or cross-disciplinary perspective in order to shed light on its versatility, fluidity and contingency across divergent geographical and institutional contexts. We recognise the growing resonance of concepts such as sustaining communities in the context of post-Fordist spatial and economic restructuring, and particularly in relation to the ‘neoliberal’ political project that has been reshaping not only the political landscape but also the ideological underpinnings of societies in various ways. A growing body of work within Geography and Sociology is beginning to emphasise the unique ways in which supposedly ‘global’ processes are experienced within different geographical, institutional and cultural contexts (Amin and Thrift 2002; England and Ward 2007; Massey 2004; Ong 2007). There has also been resurgence in geographies of comparative urbanism (Ward 2008). Robinson’s (2006) insistence on the importance of the geographies of ‘ordinary cities’ has stimulated a discussion about the ways in which we compare places and contexts, and how we should conceptualise difference and similarity in contemporary society (Dear 2005; Kantor and Savitch 2005; McCann 2008; Nijman 2007; Pierre 2005). In recognition of such debates, we were interested in editing a volume that would explore the concept of sustaining communities in national or cross-national contexts. We asked prospective authors to look at how community was conceptualised, how it was manifested in practice and how it was framed within wider policy discourses. Through this editorial approach, we hoped to initiate and promote a comparative debate on the theoretical underpinnings and policy formation of, and responses to, the issue of sustaining communities within an international context.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Sustaining communities; society; politics; geographies;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 8955
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Prof. Mary Corcoran
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 15:14
    Journal or Publication Title: GeoJournal
    Publisher: Springer
    Refereed: Yes

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