Rekindling Democracy
A Professional’s Guide To Working In Citizen Space


“An astonishing and ambitious book that delves deeply into questions of communities and the people who can bring them to life”
(David Best, Sheffield Hallam University)

“There is growing recognition that Asset Based Community Development offers a real alternative to the bankruptcy of top-down service provision. This timely and compelling exposition by one of its leading exponents shows exactly why” (David Brindle, The Guardian)

Finally, a book that offers a practical yet well researched guide for practitioners seeking to hone the way they show up in citizen space. Rekindling Democracy, A Professional’s Guide To Working In Citizen Space, convincingly argues that industrialized countries are suffering through a democratic inversion; where the doctor is assumed to be the primary producer of health; the teacher of education; the police officer of safety, and the politician of democracy. Through just the right blend of storytelling, research and original ideas Russell asserts instead that in a functioning democracy, the role of the professionals ought to be defined as that which happens after the important work of citizens is done. The primary role of the 21st century practitioner therefore is not a deliverer of top-down services, but a precipitator of more active citizenship and community building. And then he goes about showing us how to do so effectively.

Published by Wipf and Stock, Rekindling Democracy, A Professional’s Guide To Working In Citizen Space will be available from all good booksellers in May 2020.

What people are saying about Rekindling Democracy:

“Attending a Cormac Russell presentation always leaves me wanting more. More stories, more lessons and more revelations. Rekindling Democracy is that more. It’s the complete Cormac. A guide to rethinking, refreshing and reversing the current course of our democracies, in favour of nurturing the caring actions of so called ordinary citizens.”
(Al Etmanski, author & social entrepreneur)

“Cormac Russell is a bright light in the field of community development. I consider him the global leader in applying the work of Asset Based Community Development to the real work of rebuilding communities. In his book Rekindling Democracy he provides many chapters of fresh thinking inspiring us to reconsider institutional approaches to caring for one another. His book is just the right balance between creative thinking, critique and useful constructs for actually doing the work of re-building community. This is a must read for anyone interested in bettering their community and more importantly restoring the very essence of our democracy.”
(Paul Born, Tamarack Institute)

“As individuals trying to respond to the many challenges our communities face, we can often lose sight of how much greater our impact can be when we work together than when we dream alone. This book lights the blue touch-paper of possibility, giving you the firepower you need to reimagine and refashion the place you live, packed with inspiring yet deeply recognizable stories of people creating change.”
(Rob Hopkins, Transition Towns Network)

“I read this book in one sitting, and felt as inspired as I always am with what Cormac has to say.  This book will allow me to stay challenged, to reflect, to share and to reposition my thoughts and actions as I continue to strive to do the right thing in the right way.  The seven essential functions of a rekindled community, Cormac reminds us, cannot be found in the board room, but on our streets.”
(Emma Hodges, St Giles Hospice)

“An easy-to-read manual for community builders, bursting with inspiration and exemplary stories. Describes attractive reasons for optimism. In addition to the many useful tools and tips, we especially need patience in strengthening our dynamic and multi-cultural society. A must read for politicians and their advisers, who take modernization of democracy seriously.”
(Kees van Engelenhoven, Utrecht City Government)

“This book condenses worlds of wisdom on what really matters and outlines the kind of citizen revolution we need. It offers radical perspectives on democracy, economics, society and the value of human life. If citizenship is your goal then this book will provide encouragement, stories and ideas that you can take with you as we work together to restore community to the centre of our lives.”
(Simon Duffy, Centre for Welfare Reform)