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


Eversole, R, Community agency and community engagement: re-theorising participation in governance, Journal of Public Policy, 31, (1) pp. 51-71. ISSN 0143-814X (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0143814X10000206


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:participatory governance; community engagement; rural development; Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Urban geography
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Eversole, R (Professor Robyn Eversole)
ID Code:74539
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:49
Deposited By:Institute for Regional Development
Deposited On:2011-12-07
Last Modified:2014-12-04
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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