Governance in the gaps: inter-agency action in a rural town

Eversole, R and Scholfield, K 2006, 'Governance in the gaps: inter-agency action in a rural town', Rural Society, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 320-328.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Governance in the gaps: inter-agency action in a rural town
Author(s) Eversole, R
Scholfield, K
Year 2006
Journal name Rural Society
Volume number 16
Issue number 3
Start page 320
End page 328
Total pages 8
Publisher Charles Sturt University, Centre for Rural Social Research
Abstract It is generally understood that local people with local knowledge and a long-term interest in their area are uniquely equipped to create sustainable solutions to local needs. At the same time, higher-level support and resourcing is often needed to make 'grassroots' solutions work. Current governance models thus posit a facilitatory vertical relationship between government agencies and local actors in which the former devolves responsibility and resources to the latter - often characterised as the quest for greater 'local participation.' Questions are frequently raised, however, about the amount of local autonomy that is actually achievable within these vertical governance frameworks. How can locals influence the larger contexts in which they work? This paper discusses and reflects upon several recent local experiences of inter-agency action in a rural Australian town. As local organisations come together to tackle common issues and themes at the local level, they create new governance spaces that lie outside of existing government and organisational bureaucracies. What is the potential for such arrangements to leverage local influence over existing higher-level structures, and to what extent is local action still constrained?
Subject Sociology not elsewhere classified
Copyright notice © 2006 Centre for Rural Social Research
ISSN 1037-1656
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