Community Development today: engaging challenges through cosmopolitanism?

The aim of this paper has been to explore some of the key challenges and opportunities for community development today and to identify some responses. One response has been singled out for detailed discussion: to engage with a deeper cosmopolitan outlook. Of course, a cosmopolitan approach does not provide ‘solutions’ to all of the challenges facing community development. However, it does offer a launching place for responding to our fluid and contradictory world. It opens up ways of stretching accepted concepts and established thinking about the scope and methods of community development practice, for example, by thinking critically about what borderlessness (through ICTs and forced and voluntary movements of people) means for community development; by challenging the principle of greed inscribed in neoliberalism with a normative commitment to humanity as a whole, over and beyond individual self-interest; and by sheeting home the responsibility of all humans to act in response to climate change. And while inculcating a recognition of human interconnectedness, a cosmopolitan outlook also involves critical mutual evaluation. In doing so, it offers a framework for the ‘difficult conversation’ of how to reconcile different assumptions and values about planet earth and the future of humanity.

For the full article please click here Engaging challenges through cosmopolitanism

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