Connecting: a relational approach to re-rooting communities, public services and politics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In the face of a widespread sense of disconnection, we need to urgently rebuild our social and political relationships on very different foundations. However, whilst there might be a shared sense that something is very rotten at the heart of how we organise ourselves, there is no widespread understanding of what such foundations might look like or what it takes to bring them into being. In this chapter I present findings from ongoing action research suggesting that the practice of Tree House Liverpool, a neighborhood-based community organization, might have something to offer here. Drawing on the work of Mary Follett and others, I show how Tree House is ‘connecting’ people to themselves, others and their environment by creating enabling environments in which people gain greater appreciative understanding of their capacities and relationships. I evaluate the local impact of this relational approach and its potential for contributing to an understanding of how we might face up to the urgent challenge of re-rooting disintegrated communities, weak democratic systems, and dysfunctional public services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe future of progressivism
Subtitle of host publicationapplying Follettian thinking to Contemporary Issues
EditorsMargaret Stout
Place of PublicationAnoka, MN
PublisherProcess Century Press
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9781940447384
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Urban Studies


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