I have a review of a new book - Down Detour Road by Eric Cesal - in this month's RIBA Journal - you can read it here. Cesal's book is a good one and asks some very relevant questions about the role of the profession of architecture post the financial crisis. Some of the same issues - namely how architects ascribe value to what they do and bring their skills and knowledge to bear on a whole range of activities - are also touched on in Amanda Baillieu's blog at BD this week, which kindly links to a post I wrote some time ago about risk.
Needless to say, I disagree with the conclusions of Amanda's post, if not with all of the ideas within it, mainly because I regard the government's Localism Bill, like their Big Society idea, as a benign sounding sop to cover up massive public spending cuts and free market ideology. But ideas of localism divorced from David Cameron and co., and the role of architects in socially engaged design, is interesting and perhaps worth exploring in more detail here.
Some of my scepticism about localism is touched on in this excellent article by Alex Andrews at the New Left Project, which is otherwise concerned with more pressing political concerns.