Howard Glennerster, Ruth Lupton, Philip Noden and Anne Power
Published March 1999
Are-based policies have become a significant part of the new Labour Government's approach to tackling social exclusion. This paper reviews the long-running debate about whether area-based policies can make a significant impact on poverty and social exclusion. There is a strong tradition of academic work that argues that this is a misguided strategy. The authors argue that recent work, both in the US and the UK, suggests that there may be causal factors at work which derive from area-based problems that suggest area-based solutions. However, too little is understood about what these factors are and how they might be addressed. Deeper local studies are required to tease out these effects. The paper then goes on to describe how the authors have gone about choosing twelve areas for particular study. In the course of doing so, much has been learned about the characteristics of the most deprived areas in the country and where they are.