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Reinout Kleinhans

In the continuing aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, many European countries are implementing austerity measures and cuts in public policy, alongside longer trends of welfare state retrenchment. To mitigate these trends, governments are putting more emphasis on active citizenship. Citizens are supposed to take responsibility and organize themselves to fill in gaps left by spending cuts in health care, education, employment and neighbourhood governance. Active citizenship is currently perceived as a viable alternative to state-based welfare provision. While not necessarily restricted to poor areas, community enterprises (CEs) in the Netherlands respond to these changes by providing services or other benefits that are crucial to the well-being of residents in deprived neighbourhoods. Inspired by British CEs, residents in Dutch cities are trying to set up community enterprises, but they face huge challenges. The transition from ‘subsidy-dependent’ resident committees to entrepreneurial, independent community-based enterprises with a sound business model is fraught with difficulties. This chapter provides an account of emerging Dutch CEs, based on a panel study with repeated interviews. The analysis reveals strong tensions between community-based, entrepreneurial activism and the responses of local professionals. While the interviewed professionals claim to strive for co-production, the responses of their institutions are more that of ‘counter-production’, as they struggle to find a healthy balance between ‘letting go’ of bottom-up resident initiatives and ‘fitting’ them into existing practices and routines.

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Ana María Peredo and James J. Chrisman

In a context of increasing globalization and neoliberal economic policies, to what extent can local communities respond to the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts posed by those processes? This chapter provides a conceptual foundation for understanding one particular community response that emerges from local cultural and collective action. ‘Community-based enterprise’ (CBE) is the vehicle in which the community creates an entity that constitutes the community as both an entrepreneur and an enterprise addressing economic, social and environmental challenges holistically. We define ‘CBE’, as a community acting corporately as both entrepreneur and enterprise in pursuit of community common good. This form of enterprise departs from traditional models of entrepreneur in which the agent is an individual or a group of individuals. The basis for this chapter begins in communities in the global south, but extends to communities in the global north. It examines the social, environmental, economic and/or political conditions associated with the emergence of CBEs. It also points out the role that collective action, forms of social capital and size play in its creation. We consider also their typical characteristics such as rootedness in available community skills, multiplicity of goals as well as prevailing community participation and governance structures. The effects of CBEs on fostering entrepreneurship within communities as well as similar developments in neighbouring communities are outlined as well. We discuss challenges to CBE in the form of balancing individual and collective outcomes, of reconciling social, economic and environmental goals and withstanding the pressures of globalization and generational change. We conclude by outlining a future research agenda.

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Nick Bailey

Social enterprise is a hybrid sector lying between the public and private sectors. One part of this broad category is community enterprise where not-for-profit organizations are established to address particular social, economic and environmental priorities. These organizations often operate in defined areas where significant sections of the population experience relative deprivation or social exclusion. This chapter discusses the growth and nature of community enterprises (CEs) and in particular the sub-set of asset-based community development trusts (CDTs), which have evolved in Britain since the 1970s. It begins by discussing the definitions of the CE sector and then explains how urban regeneration policy has evolved in Britain in order to increasingly encourage the transfer of assets and service delivery to third sector bodies. Three models are then used to outline the key dimensions of different CDTs using a number of examples. The conclusions confirm that CDTs are often fully committed to seeking sustainability while operating on the margins of profitability and only the larger, more sustainable CDTs can make a significant contribution to wider regeneration strategies operating at urban or metropolitan levels. But greater flexibility is needed in transferring assets and integrating CEs more closely with broader regeneration strategies. However, major gaps in knowledge of the sector remain particularly in relation to questions of scale and breadth of impact. Overall, CDTs can be seen as part of a response to the neoliberal terrain of austerity and the gradual retrenchment of the public sector at the local level but may offer new opportunities for co-production.

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Edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio

Contributions to this book probe the contexts–both social and spiritual–from which select iconic figures emerge and discover how to present themselves as innovators and cultural leaders as well as draw material into forms that subsequent generations consider innovative or emblematic. The overall import of the book is to locate producers of culture such as authors, poets, singers, and artists as leaders both in their respective genres and of culture and society more broadly through the influence exerted by their works.
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Cyrena N. Pondrom

In the seventh chapter, Cyrena N. Pondrom addresses what she calls T.S. Eliot’s attempt “to engage in right action” through the writing of poetry. Like both Shelley and Dickinson, Eliot’s writings struggle to reconcile his desire to promote new forms of culture and social responsibility with his sense of personal unworthiness, a duality which caused him to reject his own role as iconic poet in favor of the more proactive role of dramatic cultural leader.

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Evyatar Marienberg

The final chapter addresses the influence of religious symbolism, and Roman Catholicism specifically, on the work and persona of Gordon Sumner, better known in the music world as Sting. Marienberg details the atmosphere of Catholic education which permeated Sting’s English childhood, arguing that his childhood experiences resonate in his recent Broadway musical and the album upon which it is based, The Last Ship.

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Yaakov Ariel

The ninth chapter discusses Allen Ginsberg’s direct, even aggressive, advocacy for freedom of expression in linguistic, artistic and sexual modes within the context of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Through public speech and poetry, Ginsberg became an icon of the Beat generation and a proponent of Eastern spiritualism while retaining close—often conflicted—ties to his Jewish–American cultural heritage.

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Marianne de Beer and Veronique Schutjens

This chapter’s focus is on inter-firm networks of entrepreneurs located in residential neighbourhoods in the Netherlands and, in particular, on the importance of local inter-firm cooperation contacts and changes therein over time. If local inter-firm cooperation networks exist and become more important over time, the neighbourhood economic tissue might be strengthened and eventually benefit both incumbent firms and new entrepreneurial activities. Based on previous literature, we differentiate in our analysis between a number of characteristics, for example, firm age, firm home-basedness and firm local market orientation. Two waves of The Survey on the Social Networks of Entrepreneurs (in 2008 and 2014) provided us with a panel of 197 entrepreneurs active in over 140 residential neighbourhoods in 40 Dutch municipalities. For both years, the entrepreneurs mention one cooperation contact on average, and for local contacts this average is even lower. Therefore, we conclude that neither local cooperation nor cooperation in general is a common strategy. Using ordered logistic regression models, we found that over time, the average number and importance of local cooperation contacts hardly changed, although it did increase significantly for home-based firms, whereas it decreased for young firms. However, these findings disguise substantial turbulence in cooperation contacts at the individual (entrepreneurial) level. Between 2008 and 2014, almost 90 per cent of both total and local cooperation contacts were replaced by other contacts, emphasizing the ‘temporary coalition’ character of small neighbourhood firms’ cooperation strategies.

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W. Clark Gilpin

The fifth chapter addresses a figure of cultural leadership who was largely isolated from her own culture, but whose work has come to reshape the face of American poetry: Emily Dickinson. Clark Gilpin argues that Dickinson’s poetry, known for its unconventional spelling, punctuation and style, was a direct response to the formative chaos of the American Civil War. Through her radical style, Dickinson demarcates the before-and-after of American identity relative to the Civil War and initiates a new American cultural period.

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Lasse Gerrits and Peter Marks