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Home > The systematic destruction of the community development, anti-poverty and equality movement (2002-2015).

Kelleher, Patricia and O’Neill, Cathleen (2018) The systematic destruction of the community development, anti-poverty and equality movement (2002-2015). Cork: Kelleher Associates.

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The 1980s and 1990s witnessed the development of a vibrant state-funded community development, anti-poverty and equality sector which built on community and citizen involvement of the 1960s and 1970s (section 1.3). The principles underpinning these developments were supported by government policy, most notably The White Paper on the Relationship between the Community and Voluntary Sector and the State (Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs 2000). 

The state supported and funded community empowerment and community capacity building, encouraged local communities to participate in decisions, and supported the initiation of projects to respond to community needs. European Union (EU) poverty and community programmes gave important support and funding. In this Paper, this model is called Participatory Democracy. 

The sociologist Foucault (1966; 1977; 1980) has outlined in great detail the “rise of the social” from the early 19th century onwards. Participatory Democracy was part of this “social paradigm”. The importance of the social reached a peak in Britain and in many of the northern European countries post World War 2 when the significance of social solidarity and citizenship was recognised in the creation of welfare states in Northern Europe. Keynesian economics were used in these countries to stimulate employment and increase public services, which, in turn increased consumer demand.

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