Locating localism explores the development of localism as a new mode of statecraft and its implications for the practice of citizenship. Drawing on original research, Jane Wills highlights the importance of having the civic infrastructure and capacity to facilitate the engagement of citizens in local decision making. She looks at the development of community organising, neighbourhood planning and community councils that identify and nurture the energies, talents and creativity of the population to solve their own problems and improve our world.
Combining political theory with attention to political practice, the book takes the long view of this new policy development, positioning it in relation to the political geo-history of the British state. In so doing, it highlights the challenges of the state devolving itself and the importance of citizens having the freedom, incentives and institutions needed to act.
Jane Wills is Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests focus on the changing geo-political-economy of work, new forms of urban political alliances including community organising living wage campaigns, and the politics and practice of localism in the UK. She has published widely in the field including, Global cities at work (2010), Union futures (2002), Dissident Geographies (2000) and Union retreat and the regions (1996).
Making sense of localism;
The geo-constitution and the long history of localism;
The place of the people;
Localist local government;
Institution building for localism;
Community organising, past and present;
Back to the Parish: the importance of place.
“It is brilliant news that our ongoing campaigns about the need to strengthen local democracy has been recognised and supported by such an influential voice as Prof Wills. We would urge all to read this book regardless of who you are.” Cllr Ken Browse, chair of the National Association of Local Councils
"This book makes an important contribution to the emerging literature on localism and its implications for changing state-society relationships and the location of power and control." Urban Geography
"Localism is now a highly influential discourse in contemporary English politics. Jane Wills goes beyond the burgeoning advocacy and commentary to provide a thorough-going and subtle analysis of its qualities. A vital read for scholars, policy-makers, practitioners and activists." John Tomaney, University College London