2012 volume 30(4) pages 712 – 729

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Scally C P, 2012, "Community development corporations, policy networks, and the rescaling of community development advocacy" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30(4) 712 – 729

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Community development corporations, policy networks, and the rescaling of community development advocacy

Corianne Payton Scally

Abstract. Some argue that, as place-bound, development-oriented entities dependent upon capital, community development corporations (CDCs) are ineffective political agents beyond the boundaries of the disadvantaged neighborhoods they serve. In response I ask: how have CDCs worked through policy networks to rescale the ‘spaces of engagement’ for community development policy beyond the local? Data gathered through document analysis, a survey, and interviews point to three distinct phases of the CDC rescaling project: (1) linking the local through a national network; (2) expanding spaces of engagement through state policy networks; and (3) a national network of networks. CDC policy networks have had uneven success in establishing their legitimacy, proving CDC effectiveness as agents of local economic development, overcoming ‘militant particularisms’, and mobilizing both the state and capital. CDCs can expand their spaces of engagement beyond the local through policy networks if they successfully develop boundary-spanning relations, defend their place-based agenda, combat essentialization through performance measurement, strengthen their state networks, and reimagine their national rescaling project.
Keywords: community development, community development corporations, policy networks

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