Progressive localism for an ethics of care: local Area Co-ordination with people with learning disabilities

Edward Hall, Sarah McGarrol

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    In the UK devolution to ‘new’ nations and localities is generating differences in the tone and substance of social care. In Scotland there is an apparent rejection of the ‘personalisation’ model dominant in England and other neoliberal welfare states; in its place, there is an emphasis on locally-based co-produced care provision, involving local organisations, practitioners and individuals. The paper argues that this is an outcome of the open and deliberative nature of policy-making, and the further devolution of social care provision to local authorities in Scotland. Local scale networks and spaces of provision are generating a ‘progressive localism’, contesting the association between the local scale and financial austerity, drawing on a relational understanding of place. Non-commodified and locally-based provision expands the discourse of care from ‘caring about’ individuals to ‘caring about’ people and places, in what is termed an ‘ethics of care’. The paper uses the example of people with learning disabilities to examine a more broadly conceived ‘caring’ within local communities, offering possibilities for inclusion and belonging. The paper draws on interviews with key policy makers and place-based care practitioners, known as ‘Local Area Co-ordinators’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)689-709
    Number of pages21
    JournalSocial & Cultural Geography
    Issue number6
    Early online date6 Jun 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Devolution
    • Localism
    • Social care
    • Ethics of care
    • Learning disability


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