The purpose of this paper is to examine the various forms CED takes and factors that may affect those, as well as different arguments and perspectives regarding CED practice. Throughout, the viability of community economic development as a strategy to create a local political market economy as an alternative to the capitalist model of development is explored. The research intends to develop a theoretical framework to assess the potential strengths and weaknesses of CED, and be a reference source for CED practitioners and those interested in the discipline. The report reviews the key features of CED and some economic models associated with it, followed by a critical analysis of CED. It concludes with suggestions for maximizing the capacity of CED initiatives to combat socio-political exclusion.