Community development finds itself in times of unprecedented political, social and economic change, locally and globally, at the same time as divisions between poverty and privilege widen. Building practical approaches to theory and theoretical approaches to practice, this updated and expanded second edition of a bestselling text develops critiques of the changing context and identifies challenges faced by community development both at community level and as a collective force for a more just, equal and sustainable future.
Featuring a range of different models of community development and illustrative stories from practitioners in the field, the new edition will be essential reading for practitioners, students and educators involved in community development, youth and community work, social work, health and education.
"In the space of a mere 200 pages a tremendous amount of ground is covered ... Ledwith demonstrates that it is possible to retain faith in a radical past whilst, simultaneously dazzling us with the power and future potential of community development." Studies in the Education of Adults
"Makes a powerful case for recognising the potential of community strategies contributing to a more just and sustainable world." Professional Social Work
"This is a very accessible and readable book that is based on a detailed knowledge of statistical research, critical theory and community development experience" Concept
"Government is, once again, attempting to hijack community development with its own top-down solutions to social division. A truly critical view of what community development is and is not is thus most welcome. Margaret Ledwith's revised book builds most impressively on its original." Gary Craig, Professor of Community Development and Social Justice, University of Durham
"Margaret Ledwith presents a radical vision of community development in which the analyses of power that lead to domination and discrimination, present in every community, provide the basis of transforming practice.
The revolutionary pedagogy of Paulo Freire and Gramsci's concept of hegemony work together with feminism and anti-racism to unite theory and practice in ways which develop critical thinking as the basis of empowering communities." Javier Segura del Pozo, Public Health Medical Practitioner, Madrid.
"Margaret Ledwith's new edition of Community Development reminds us of the importance of maintaining a critical reflexive perspective when undertaking action in a community….Ledwith's model for practice offers hope and optimism in dealing with the challenges that a neo-liberal society poses for marginalised and disenfranchised people." Lena Dominelli, University of Durham
Margaret Ledwith lives in Lancaster where she is Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at the University of Cumbria. She is also a coordinator of the international Collaborative Action Research Network. For many years, she was a grassroots community worker, and it was this experience of working with marginalised communities that forged the foundation of a lifetime commitment to social justice. She has written three books: Participating in Transformation: Towards a working model of community empowerment (1997), Community Development: A critical approach (2005) and, with Jane Springett, Participatory Practice: Community-based action for transformative change (2009).
Opening thoughts: unprecedented political times; Why empower?; The story of a community; Doing community development; Organising in the community; Collective action for change; The power of ideas; Critiques of Freire and Gramsci; Towards a Freirean-feminist-anti-racist pedagogy; Organising for social transformation.