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Local governance, governmental practices, and the production of policy: local strategic partnerships and area-based 'multiple deprivation' in County Durham

Scott, David John (2008) Local governance, governmental practices, and the production of policy: local strategic partnerships and area-based 'multiple deprivation' in County Durham. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis investigates the following research question: what policy effects are produced through Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and how are they produced? LSPs are a body made up of a formalized membership consisting of a range of organizations operating at the local level, including those from the public, private, voluntary, and 'community' sectors. Introduced by the New Labour government in 2000, they are a non-executive, non-statutory organizational framework existing in local authority areas across England. The question is addressed using an ethnographic approach, employing interviews and participant observation, and this is combined with a case study research strategy focusing on the districts of Chester-le-Street and Derwentside in County Durham. These are areas that suffer from problems of social exclusion due to the repercussions of deindustrialization. I am interested in particular in the role LSPs play in addressing problems of social exclusion. The research focuses on what the policy effects of LSPs mean for conditions of social exclusion. LSPs are an important institution designed to address such problems. The concept of 'policy effects' attends to the generation of governmental objects and the active making of 'policy'. The thesis offers valuable empirical insights into the effects of a local partnership organization. It is argued that while both a governance networks' perspective and relational and crisis-theoretic approaches to state theory provide a useful framework for understanding changing institutions and processes of governance, they do not sufficiently aid an understanding of policy effects. I move beyond a conceptual emphasis upon issues of 'institutional design' and attend to the question of policy effects through a consideration of the practices of 'institutional enactment' which LSPs involve. This is a perspective informed by post-Foucauldian governmentality ideas and ideas of the state' as a set of practices. Analysis critically examines the interplay between the institutional design of LSPs and the institutional enactment of LSPs in the production of policy effects.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:28

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