British urban policies and community participation
The seminar aims at presenting the new context of urban policies in England since the arrival of a coalition government led by David Cameron in 2010. This government has put in the core of its priorities the reduction of public deficits (within an austerity budget), welfare reforms, planning reforms (suppression of the Regional Development Agencies). Its flagship policy slogan is to create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a big society that will “take power away from politicians and give it to people”. From a planning and urban policy point of view the shift with former labour governments is eloquent. Clearly inherited from conservative ideologies implemented in the 80s and 90s the Big Society principles question the role of the State and the Civil Society. It also reinforces the role of central government and obviously raises questions of the nature of such centralised governance practices. The seminar will decrypt these evolutions repositioning them in the context of the last 40 years (Stephen Hall). Changing relationships between State and Civil Society in England will then be explored (Irène Mboumoua). Finally attention will be given to the forms of resilience developed by local communities or small companies in a context of austerity (Lauren Andres).