Social capital, community empowerment and public health: policy developments in the UK since 1997
Policy and Politics, 34, (1), . (doi:10.1332/030557306775212098).
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The use made of social capital in UK health policy by New Labour has been criticised as evidence of an ideological retreat away from traditional social democracy. This article argues that the influence of the concept on policy development in the public health field has, in fact, the potential to complement, rather than provide an alternative to, social democratic approaches. Its operationalisation in the establishment of local health initiatives, when combined with the broader policy framework, appears to reinforce the gradual shift in UK primary care towards a more public health orientation, a shift generally regarded as vital for the secure establishment of health inequalities on the UK health agenda.
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