Policy interest in the contribution that communities can make to civil society and democratic renewal has grown under New Labour. Key programmes, particularly those promoting regeneration and renewal, require community participation in partnerships ...
and public decision making. This book demonstrates how informal and formal networks strengthen communities and improve partnership working. The well-connected community: examines the benefits and limitations of networks in supporting self-help, collective action and multi-agency arrangements; explores the concept of 'community' in relation to patterns of interaction, social identity and mutual influence; advocates a new model of community development that promotes networking as a skilled and strategic intervention; presents recent research on community development practice; develops useful links between theory, policy and practice; addresses important issues around equality, diversity and social cohesion; provides recommendations for good networking practice. The book is aimed at practitioners, trainers, policy makers and managers who are working with communities or responsible for community participation strategies. It promotes networking as a vital component of community development and explains how it contributes to government policy objectives.