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Title: The insistence of community : New Labour, urban parks and the politics of the common
Author: Kirwan, Samuel Francis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8659
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Taking up the eternally contested, yet inescapable, question of community; this thesis takes for its point of focus the time of 'New Labour' and the millennial effervescence in which 'community' appeared to herald a new dawn of 'third way' politics. Foremost on this agenda, and addressed first in the thesis, was the concept of Community Safety; a field of policing and criminal justice organised around the term 'anti-social behaviour'. The thesis documents the tendency for critical voices to oppose the 'community' requiring this safety first on the basis of its representing post-disciplinary practices of exclusion, and second inasmuch as an ethical imperative to participate in community activities is rendered an arena of power relations. Rather than fully situate the common, and community; within a schematic of power, I seek in this thesis to argue that this return or haunting of community- its insistence - warrants attention on its own terms. Following the work of Jean- Luc Nancy(1991), the thesis follows the thought that community; as the site in which 'the common' is practiced and explored, is not unity but rather the radical, disruptive and productive statement of togetherness in plurality. Utilising empirical material gathered from ethnographic work among community groups in green spaces, the thesis opens two spaces for this contestation; the technical practices of community and the practices of democratic equality located in green space itself. These chapters refer respectively to Bernard Stiegler and Jacques Ranciere, authors who have investigated the force of 'the common' in its disruption of the intimacy of community. Against a 'politics of lost authority' the thesis argues for the enduring transgressions of this intimacy in community practice; a 'politics of the common'. In articulating this argument the thesis seeks to reclaim community both from the 'communitarian' accounts that have sought to put it to work, and from the critical accounts that have sought to clear it away as a question.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available