The final chapter of the first edition examined the issue of the relationship between the individual and the collective. This relationship is an issue for all political and social movements, for social theory, social policy and service development; all topics which have been discussed extensively in this book. It also raises the question of the relationship between the processes of individual and collective empowerment which leads to the crux of political life itself, the relationship between individual and social action. I want to return to these issues here, but in the light of changing circumstances of the last decade, in particular the decline in the power and influence of the disabled people’s movement which has been accompanied by the resurrection of the big charities who have built a formidable alliance with newly created government organizations, such as the Disability Rights Commission (which has now become the Equalities and Human Rights Commission) and the Office for Disability Issues.
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