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Neoliberalism with a community face? A critical analysis of asset-based community development in Scotland

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-450
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number4
Early online date3 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


In this article, we trace the ideological and social policy roots of asset-based community development (ABCD) in the United States and the United Kingdom, and explore how this approach has been legitimized in Scotland. We argue that ABCD is a capitulation to neoliberal values of individualization and privatization. Drawing on findings from our empirical work, we discuss how ABCD generates dilemmas for community development. Although some practitioners are able to adapt ABCD to focus on renewing Scottish democracy, several practitioners are using ABCD to privatize public issues such as inequality and justify dramatic cuts to the Scottish welfare state.

    Research areas

  • asset-based community development, neoliberalism, health inequalities, social welfare, social justice, Scotland

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