Drawing on writing and research that considers philosophically astute, intellectually radical and culturally nuanced approaches to community development in Scotland and the USA, this chapter considers the power politics of community work in Glasgow; highlights the importance of culture, sport, arts, and traditions in both Scotland and the USA; illustrates the significance of indigenous knowledge in Canada; and analyses the stigmatisation of some culturally significant activities (e.g. The Benny Lynch Statue Campaign and Black African American community development in the USA) as a basis for community based action. The chapter thereby explores how culturally important activities and local history can serve as the basis for personal development, social change, and community unification. In so doing, it explores the insights that emerge when research, e.g. the Glasgow Effect report, is placed within the historical context of assets-based community development in Scotland and the USA. The chapter explains how such a comparative analysis enables understanding of the fluid and essential role culture plays in local community development. Also, tensions between stability and conflict in community work are considered, highlighting that radical community self-empowerment confronting decades of oppression will also bring with it processes of stigmatisation seeking to shame and control populations. The chapter concludes that whilst culture is an essential component in local capacity building, by taking an international perspective and comparing Scotland to the USA, it is demonstrated that culture is always political. It is observed that cultures of community development can never be separated from local and national power politics which for decades have been associated with disempowerment, oppression and the suppression of radical minority ethnic voices.