Paresh Wankhade, Professor of Leadership and Management at Edge Hill University Business School has co-authored a new book with Professor Ian G. Cook (John Moores University) and Dr J.P. Halsall (Huddersfield University) entitled “Sociability, Social Capital and Community Development”. Sociability is a concept that has considerable currency and community groups are increasingly willing and able to fill the gap between private sector provisions on the one hand, and public sector provision on the other.
There is a palpable growth in ‘social capital’ that is being developed by social entrepreneurs who offer a ‘Third Way’ to capitalism on the one hand or the State on the other. There is also a growing evidence that ‘community’, however defined, can plug this gap in provision. In this book, the authors draw upon their diverse and rich experience of different societies in order to explore the extent to which these themes are appropriate for the present and the future.
The authors provide a critical understanding of the chosen themes in eight case study examples (The Netherlands, UK, USA, China, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Japan).The book explores four major sub-themes of contemporary relevance; overall aging of societies; governance and institutions; emergency service management & public health provisions; and community activism and involvement. While highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the community intervention agenda, the authors conclude on a positive note and this sense of optimism is linked to growing evidence that community activism is on the rise and can contribute towards plugging the gap between public need and provision of services. Future research directions, including additional cross-country and cross-sectoral comparisons and collaborative research agenda, are also suggested.