When Communities First drew to a close earlier in 2018 in Wales it brought the curtain down on the longest-running programme of its nature in British social policy history. Dr Sioned Pearce of Cardiff University’s WISERD department joins Russell to share some of the findings of one of her research specialisms, community development and social policy across the devolved administrations of the UK (more information here).
In the podcast Sioned and Russell discuss how the state has used community development as a tool to bring about change, including in the case of Wales legitimising devolution itself; how post-devolution state approaches in Wales and England – both under Labour rule – began to diverge following a ‘moment of alignment’ in which policy and ideology were convergent; and explains how ‘pockets of community development resistance’ are emerging in Wales that run counter to an increasing neoliberal tone to social policy in Wales.
In the course of the discussion Communities First emerges as a useful crucible in which to chart crucial aspects of the devolution journey in Wales.
You can follow Sioned on Twitter at @sionedpearce.
To learn more about why Russell has started The Community Development Podcast read this blog.
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Intro music: credit and link