Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Asset based community development and economic democracy
Author: Cairns, Iain Owen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 1086
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) like other ’assets approaches’ has been criticised for being little more than a ’philosophy’ which evades critical evaluation. And as a form of ’bottom-up’ community regeneration which eschews state direction in development it has also been accused of being a ’face’ of neoliberalism. This thesis addresses both of these issues by considering ABCD from an economic democracy perspective. I demonstrate how this perspective provides a suitable lens through which ABCD can fruitfully be explored. I also suggest how exploring ABCD from this perspective prompts considerations of how ABCD might be viewed as part of a decentralised communitarian effort to destabilise neoliberalism. The empirical element of this thesis concerns a network of community development trusts operating in the West of Scotland. A participatory form of ethnographic research resulted in a number of key findings. For participants, ABCD has primarily an external focus; it provides a language which has utility in holding government to account for its perceived failure to value community voice. While notable advances in terms of democratic practice were encountered, the ability of the trusts to create democratic economic space is limited thus far by their inability to secure significant material advances. This inability is attributed to inequality, class and unequal power. For informants, the promise of ABCD has thus far failed to be realised because of these structural constraints. These finding have implications for conceptualisations of ABCD. In particular, ABCD is seen in this instance to have changed from being primarily a ’philosophy’ promoted by professional practitioners typically associated with the state. Instead it has also become a form of language which activists deploy to demand greater state support for communitarian development which is outwith state control.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available