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Third way urban policy and the new moral politics of community: a comparative analysis of Ballymun in Dublin and the Gorbals in Glasgow

Boyle, Mark and Rogerson, Robert (2006) Third way urban policy and the new moral politics of community: a comparative analysis of Ballymun in Dublin and the Gorbals in Glasgow. Urban Geography, 27 (3). pp. 201-227. ISSN 0272-3638

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Abstract

Whilst Third Way Urban Policy (TWUP) often associates itself with a kind of anarchic vision of self-regulating and self-reproducing local communities, it can in fact be thought of as a thinly veiled moral crusade targeted towards vulnerable residents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Sustainable communities are defined as those who can stand on their own two feet within the terms set down by neo-liberal market economics. When these morally charged crusades fail to connect locally, they have the potential to stir local conflict over who has the authority to judge forms of community life. As third way urban regeneration rolls out across capitalist cities, mapping and accounting for the uneven development of moral conflicts over community is a pressing concern. Focusing upon the ongoing regeneration of two of Europe's most famous social housing estates- Ballymun in north Dublin and the Gorbals in central Glasgow - this paper presents a comparative analysis of the different ways in which moral disputes over community have surfaced in these two neighbourhoods. On the bases of an analyses of both the localisation of TWUP and the prior biographies of both estates, the nature of conflict is shown to be contingent upon who has ownership of the local social capital agenda.