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Community, conflict and the state: Rethinking notions of 'safety', 'cohesion' and 'wellbeing'

Cooper, Charlie


Charlie Cooper


Traditional understandings of what constitutes community safety have created a skewed understanding of crime and disorder that ignores the real threats to community cohesion and wellbeing. State-sponsored community safety strategies focus on property crime, street violence, drugs and fear of crime. While these issues should be of concern to policy makers and practitioners, this ground breaking study argues that such policies ignore more serious threats to community safety caused by the activities of the powerful - i.e. social harms caused by pro-market policies, such as the effects of welfare cut-backs on life chances - or by the actions of major corporations - such as environmental pollution. This book redresses a gap in social policy and criminology by offering a different conceptual understanding of community safety, based on a more proportionate understanding of social harms inflicted on communities. Analysing how notions of 'community' and 'conflict' have been used and understood in relation to 'safety', 'cohesion' and 'wellbeing' in British social policy, this study critiques the practical policy-oriented application of these ideas, particularly in relation to 'community wellbeing'. Concluding with radical suggestions for future social policy, the author offers practical proposals for researching and working with communities in empowering ways, which offer greater prospects for enhancing the social wellbeing of the many.


Cooper, C. (2008). Community, conflict and the state: Rethinking notions of 'safety', 'cohesion' and 'wellbeing'. Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9780230582125

Book Type Book
Publication Date Sep 24, 2008
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2014
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-264
Book Title Community, Conflict and the State: Rethinking Notions of 'Safety', 'Cohesion' and 'Wellbeing'
ISBN 9781349546886; 9780230582125
Keywords Community; Conflict; Policy
Public URL