As the Arab Spring continues to work through changes, the Occupy Movement is agitating for change and many are looking for alternatives in the face of global financial and political challenges, community organising offers a realistic way forward for many communities: a tried and tested way of improving people’s lives. This book is the first to explore the diverse history of community organising, telling stories of how it developed, its successes and failures, and the lessons that can be applied today.
It analyses contemporary examples of practice from the USA, UK, India, South Africa, Cambodia and Australia against both wider theoretical frameworks and their ability to contribute to sustainable social change. It will be useful for a wide range of practitioners, students and researchers engaged in the struggle to develop new ways of doing community.
"As a long time community organizer working internationally with ACORN International, we have been waiting eagerly for Beck and Purcell's book. Community organizations are gaining important and potentially powerful footholds all over the globe, and Beck and Purcell's book is going to be at the front of every organizer's shelf in trying to understand this phenomena, avoid the easy mistakes, and face the critical challenges. Thanks in advance!" Wade Rathke, Chief Organizer & Founder, ACORN International
“Community organising has come centre stage, promoted from varying perspectives - governments seeking to manage and social movements, including trade union organisations, seeking to challenge manifestations of social inequality and social injustice. This book will be particularly valuable in this context, stimulating reflection on differing experiences of community organising internationally.” Professor Marjorie Mayo, Goldsmiths University of London
"This is an impressive and much needed analysis of community organising internationally. It is a timely reminder of an activity that can effectively challenge the politically and economically powerful organisations that oppress communities everywhere." Professor Keith Popple, London South Bank University.
Dave Beck manages the post graduate programmes in Community Development at the University of Glasgow. With more than 20 years of Community Development experience, his research interests are rooted in participatory approaches to thinking about and doing empowering practice for social change.
Rod Purcell is Director of Community Engagement at the University of Glasgow; previously he was a community worker, consultant and freelance trainer and has written extensively on community development. Rod is a board member of the International Association for Community Development.
Section 1 - Context: Urban development, growth of slums and marginalised communities, climate change and sustainability; Wellbeing and quality of life; Section 2 - Theory: Saul Alinsky and the early years of community organising; Gramsci, Freire and Community Organising; Power and Organisation Building; Section 3 - Case Studies: Case Study Methodology; Case Studies - USA; Case Studies - UK; Case Studies - India; Case Studies - South Africa; Case Studies - Australia; Section 4 - Analysis and Implications: Analysis; Implications for practice; The way forward.