The wicked problems of British cities: how New Labour sought to develop a new integrated approach

Dan Finn, R. Atkinson, A. Crawford

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In this paper we seek to describe and analyse the approach to the problems of the city as pursued by New Labour with particular reference to three policy areas of unemployment, crime and safety and urban policy. It is, however, important to point out that these three policy areas have largely operated independently of one another within their functional departmental silos. While there is some more recent evidence that a degree of joiningup has occurred, particularly at local level, it is not possible to detect a single overarching strategy towards the city in government policy or even at a more general level in terms of how the city is thought other than in very general terms such as the city being a motor of economic development. What perhaps distinguishes New Labour's approach from previous ones is the emphasis on developing a holistic, strategic and integrated approach, what is referred to as joined-up thinking, policy and action. In addition the general approach adopted places more emphasis, at least rhetorically, on building local partnerships and the involvement of local people in identifying and addressing these problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVille, city, violence and social dependency
EditorsJ. Donzelot
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9782110069382
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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