Rebuilding Communities in an Age of Individualism. Book published by Ashgate (2003), ISBN: 0 7546 14387
The motivation for writing this book was a concern with condition of communities and community life in modern societies following a number of years in which neoliberal philosophies had dominated international politics. Working within an art and design community and teaching on Humanities and Globalisation degree programmes, it encouraged me to pursue a multidisciplinary and globally-oriented approach to the research and writing this book. In particular, in investigating this subject it was necessary to explore the ways in which the processes and developments that constitute globalisation were operating, themes that I have returned to and developed in subsequent works.
Given that this book addresses global themes, and in particular explores the key social and cultural developments of our time, nationally and internationally it is a work in the tradition of contemporary social and cultural theorists, like Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and Zygmunt Bauman. More specifically, it is a work that deals with an issue that is of increasing concern within many societies, namely, the condition of community life. The book shows how contemporary processes like globalization, post-industrialism and detraditionalization are contributing to the growth of individualism to the detriment of local communities. From a more philosophical perspective, I then go on to argue that community is an essential component of human life and therefore measures must be taken to arrest its decline. In this regard, strategies geared to generating trust and social capital as the basis for reinvigorating community life are outlined. In tackling this ambitious topic, the book uniquely synthesizes a wide range of disciplinary approaches and draws upon a substantial amount of empirical data.
The book, published by Ashgate, has generated interest both inside and outside of the UK, and can be found in university libraries in many countries. Within Britain, it was cited as one of two sources as the basis for a lecture held in London by the RSA entitled ‘Innovation – Tomorrow’s Communities’ on 20 June, 2007 (email@example.com). As for outside of the UK, a Polish DPhil student from the Jagiellonian University came to Britain specifically to interview me about the book in May 2007.