The varied ways in which local authorities have worked with communities in response to COVID-19 is of great interest for policymakers, researchers and practitioners at the local level. Earlier research on this topic can provide helpful frameworks and insights to inform current debates. This briefing looks at literature on the relationships between local authorities and communities. It revisits the idea of social capital, considers models of relationships at local level, and examines research on the dilemmas of community participation programmes and the local impact of austerity. It concludes with ongoing questions for further investigation.
Further briefings, which will share early findings and learn from others exploring similar questions, will be published through 2021.