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Concepts of Community

Fairbrother, P, Mees, B ORCID: 0000-0001-5710-2540, Phillips, R and Tyler, M 2018 , 'Concepts of Community', in P Fairbrother and M Tyler (eds.), Wildfire and Power: Policy and Practice , Routledge, New York, pp. 17-32.

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National, state and local governments in Australia are currently lookingto integrate notions of community, social capital and community capacitybuilding into a variety of policy areas, including bushfire and wildfirepreparedness and safety. This development is part of an internationaltrend towards formally acknowledging the benefits of ‘strong communities’and the importance of fostering links between communities andgovernment institutions. As Marsh and Buckle (2001) note, however, theuse of the term ‘community’, although widely established in the contextof Australian wildfire and wildfire management, has often been used indifferent and conflicting ways. Linked with the volunteerist nature ofthese fire agencies, understanding what is meant by ‘community’ is anessential first step in developing a clearer conceptualisation to analysecurrent arrangements and determine what a community-focussed approachto bushfire and wildfire management may mean and entail. Thischapter provides an overview of the concepts of community, social capitaland ‘community capacity building, including an outline of how theuse of these terms is varied and contested. It presents insights into thelimits of relying on notions of ‘community’ in policy. This step laysthe foundations for the following chapters, which rest upon these understandingsof community, connection and communication.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Fairbrother, P and Mees, B and Phillips, R and Tyler, M
Keywords: wildfire, communication, preparedness, community
Publisher: Routledge
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Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis

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