Throughout the 1990s and even more so since the turn of the century, politicians and policy-makers alike have become increasingly concerned with the apparent loosening of the ties that once bound urban communities together. Evidence of diminishing levels of civic commitment (as seen through falling voter turnout), spatial segregation, the ‘missing millions’ who don’t complete census returns or work in the legitimate economy, worries about the loss of respect between people of different generations and social classes, falling membership of voluntary associations, and particularly the spectre of rioting by marginalized groups have all served to arouse a renewed interest in what should and could bind a society together.