Scottish Community Empowerment: Reconfigured Localism or an Opportunity for Change?
Community development and regeneration policy in Scotland employs aspirational language, depicting communities as the empowered drivers of economic and social change. It anticipates that willing, able and highly skilled community groups will come forward and assume responsibility for the delivery of local services. This narrative fails to account for the impacts of austerity, the complexities of empowerment (Skerratt and Steiner, 2013) or what will happen to communities who fail to be empowered. The article challenges the positive narrative employed in Scotland by highlighting issues that complicate the empowerment process. It concludes by suggesting ways in which a ‘Scottish Approach’ to policy making may help to create opportunities for empowerment policy in Scotland to better address the challenges, inequalities and complexities of empowerment.
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