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Community agency and community engagement: re-theorising participation in governance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 09:23 authored by Eversole, R
Interest in participatory governance recognises that communities can make valuable contributions to governance, but attempts to strengthen community participation encounter obstacles theorised as failures or incompleteness of participatory governance. This paper offers an alternative approach, drawing on ethnographic field data from a decade of work in rural Australian communities. It shows the nature of the community agency that is at the heart of policy interest in participation and how it differs from government efforts at community engagement. These insights suggest a need to rethink participatory governance, not as a single process with multiple participants, but as the juxtaposition of different ways of governing. Doing so opens up the possibility of governments and communities working together in new ways, with governments not only valuing what communities can contribute in theory, but also recognising how diverse communities work in practice.

History

Publication title

Journal of Public Policy

Volume

31

Pagination

51-71

ISSN

0143-814X

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright © 2011 Cambridge University Press

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Government and politics not elsewhere classified

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