- Subject index
A comprehensive approach focused on sustainable change Asset Building and Community Development, Fourth Edition examines the promise and limits of community development by showing students and practitioners how asset-based developments can improve the sustainability and quality of life. Authors Gary Paul Green and Anna Haines provide an engaging, thought-provoking, and comprehensive approach to asset building by focusing on the role of different forms of community capital in the development process. Updated throughout, this text explores how communities are building on their key assets—physical, human, social, financial, environmental, political, and cultural capital— to generate positive change. With a focus on community outcomes, the authors illustrate how development controlled by community-based organizations provides a better match between assets and the needs of the community.
Chapter 11: Political Capital
What is power? In the context of our discussion about asset building and community development, it means influence over major issues affecting the quality of life of residents. Social scientists have debated the definition and nature of community power for decades. For some, power is the ability to influence community decision making. This is especially the case for major issues that affect the local economy, such as where to locate a large development project or whether to provide a subsidy to a corporation considering a move to the community. Who makes these decisions? Do some individuals or institutions have more influence than others with respect to these decisions? Understanding the local power structure helps us figure out how to bring about ...