The Disempowerment of Empowerment: How Stakeholding Clogs Up Rural Decision-making

Curry, Nigel R (2009) The Disempowerment of Empowerment: How Stakeholding Clogs Up Rural Decision-making. Space and Polity, 13 (3). pp. 213-232. ISSN 1356-2576

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Abstract

In the context of a growth in both participatory democracy and responsible participation, rural decision-making in England has become increasingly complex over the past 30 years, fuelled by national polices relating to regionalism, citizenship and relocalisation. A survey of ‘agents of rural governance’ (ARGs) in the county of Gloucestershire, England, charts their recent growth, reasons for formation and perceived jurisdiction as well as examining complexities of decision-making relating to partnerships, networks and finance. The survey suggests that policies designed to ‘empower’ rural people can be seen to have clogged up rural decision-making processes sufficiently to have, effectively, disempowered many of them. The paper identifies and exemplifies six different types of ‘clogging up’ that impact upon rural decision-making: crowding, knotting, clouding, meandering, subverting and impoverishing. Whilst governmental proposals have been introduced in an attempt to rationalise this decision-making complexity, particularly through the Haskins Review and the English National Rural Strategy, other policy strands have conspired to make such decision-making essentially laissez faire.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Participatory democracy, Responsible participation, Rural, Regionalism, Citizenship, Relocalisation, Gloucestershire
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Depositing User: Debi Jones-Davis
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2014 11:54
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 09:02
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/340

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