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Big Society and community: lessons from the 1998-2011 New Deal for Communities Programme in England

Paul Lawless


The Coalition government which came to power in the UK in May 2010 has placed considerable stress on the Big Society. Assumptions underpinning this approach to policy and societal change are largely unevidenced. The evaluation of the ten year New Deal for Communities (NDC) Programme launched by the previous Labour government in 1998 has important implications for community-level decision making, a theme central to the Big Society. The NDC experience points to problems in this domain including intra-community strife, lack of engagement, and community representatives  being wrong about the scale of, and appropriate policies through which to moderate, local problems.


DOI 10.3351/ppp.0005.0002.0002