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Localism, social capital and the ‘Big Society’


  • Andy Westwood



This article explores the rationale for and interconnections between the coalition government's objectives for the ‘Big Society’, ‘localism’ and a ‘rebalanced economy’. It explores the overlaps between the three key policy objectives and highlights how the boundaries between them should be increasingly blurred, with each contributing to and reinforcing the others. In particular, it looks at the prospects for achieving each objective in a weak economic period, particularly in more deprived local areas. It also explores the links between the idea of the ‘Big Society’ and social capital literature, and argues that both are jeopardized by poor understanding and the reducing and changing role of the local and central state.

Suggested Citation

  • Andy Westwood, 2011. "Localism, social capital and the ‘Big Society’," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 26(8), pages 690-701, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:8:p:690-701

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