Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-tj2md Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-19T16:59:35.050Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

1 - The challenges for tomorrow’s communities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2023

Edited by
Get access

Summary

Communities under threat

There is a new mantra in town. Communities must become more resilient. It is imperative that they can withstand the shocks and strains that are increasingly coming their way. What has brought this about? The short answer is that global crises have, of late, been arriving like proverbial buses. During the decade after the 2008 banking crisis, the world was confronted in 2016 by the fervent unilateralism of Brexit and Trump – and its disruptive impact on trade relations and economic stability. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, causing social as well as financial havoc. In the meantime, the climate emergency has only worsened; in 2018 inequality widened to the point that the world's 26 richest individuals possessed as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who made up the poorest 50 per cent on the planet (Elliott, 2019); the worldwide surge of anti-liberalism is escalating hatred and discrimination against vulnerable groups; and job insecurity everywhere has been intensified by the rapid advancement in automation and artificial intelligence.

But how are communities (which in this context generally refer to the people who live and/or work in a broadly defined geographical area at a level below the country or region) to attain the capability to cope, let alone thrive, in the midst of all these challenges? It is vital to remember that small-scale communities have for centuries moved towards being integrated into larger units of governance such as empires, nations or federal unions. In nearly all cases, they have either found it beneficial to be part of a greater political entity, or discovered that they could not realistically resist being absorbed into a more powerful regime. Indeed, as development in transport and communications led to ever-more cross-border interactions – peaceful or otherwise – it became widely recognised that international rules and institutions were necessary to deal effectively with the threats and opportunities arising from proliferating global connections.

Thus, when we hear that communities should be made stronger in safeguarding themselves from worldwide vicissitudes, we must unpack what is meant by this. One possible interpretation would posit some idealised community of the past – small, bound by traditional expectations and hierarchies, proud and self-sufficient, and shielded from any ‘outside’ authority – and hail it as a model to which we should aspire.

Type
Chapter
Information
Tomorrow's Communities
Lessons for Community-Based Transformation in the Age of Global Crises
, pp. 3 - 16
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×