Local associations and participation in place: change and continuity in the relationship between state and civil society in twentieth-century Britain

Hewitt, L. and Pendlebury, J. (2014) Local associations and participation in place: change and continuity in the relationship between state and civil society in twentieth-century Britain. Planning Perspectives, 29(1), pp. 25-44. (doi:10.1080/02665433.2013.802655)

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Abstract

This paper uses a review of evidence relating to the history of local civic associations to address the temporally and geographically variable relationship between state and civil society. We focus particularly on the historical development of participative practices, thus also contributing to contemporary debate about the potentials of increased community involvement in place-making. The paper has three primary purposes. First, we assess the role that local associations have played in advancing planning and conservation agendas. Second, we discuss the differing modes of participation that are most visible in the work of local groups. Third, we use a focus on the discussions of participation that took place in the late 1960s, which raised explicit questions about the relations between local state and civil society, to explore a series of problematics relating to the promise and the practice of participation. We argue that in seeking to understand both the past and the present of local associational involvement in place-making and management it is important to recognize that local groups have variable professional and social resources that lead to differences in their ability to engage in local governance. We also argue that this sphere of voluntary activity exhibits continuities with longer term practice, rather than the paradigm shift that is sometimes described in accounts of the development of participation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hewitt, Dr Lucy
Authors: Hewitt, L., and Pendlebury, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Planning Perspectives
ISSN:0266-5433
ISSN (Online):1466-4518

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