Research Handbook on Community Development
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Research Handbook on Community Development

Edited by Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

This timely Research Handbook offers new ways in which to navigate the diverse terrain of community development research. Chapters unpack the foundations and history of community development research and also look to its future, exploring innovative frameworks for conceptualizing community development. Comprehensive and unequivocally progressive, this is key reading for social and public policy researchers in need of an understanding of the current trends in community development research, as well as practitioners and policymakers working on urban, rural and regional development.
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Chapter 7: What can Northwest European community enterprises learn from American community-based organizations?

David P. Varady, Reinout Kleinhans and Nuha Al Sader

Abstract

As a result of government cutbacks, Northwest European policymakers, scholars and community activists have expressed increased interest in entrepreneurial forms of active citizenship including but not limited to community enterprises. We believe that Northern European community enterprises (CEs) can benefit from the experiences of American community-based organizations (CBOs) including but not limited to community development corporations (CDCs). This chapter identifies and assesses recent writings on CBOs to bring our 2015 Journal of Enterprising Communities article up to date. Our computerized literature review covers the evolution of CBOs in recent years, the factors affecting CBO capacity, how CBOs resolve the tension between comprehensiveness and institutional viability (the ‘quadruple bottom line’), citizen participation, and community revitalization impacts. We offer several takeaway lessons for Northwest European community enterprises, that it is possible to reconcile the tensions between economic development and social equity and that top-down community development is not necessarily bad.

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