Emeritus Professor Patsy Healey, Newcastle University
Positioned on the margins of formal government agencies and sometimes even beyond their purview, civil society initiatives in Western Europe are playing an expanding role in the provision of services and in local development at the present time, as formal government reorganises and retreats. Drawing on English examples and in particular personal experience in a local development trust in a relatively remote rural area in England, I will explore three questions: what creates and sustains such initiatives, how do they build governance capacity and how can their activities be rendered legitimate.
In conclusion, and drawing on this specific experience, I consider the extent to which such enterprises are pioneering new ways of doing governance work and creating public value; their future sustainability; and their potential for enriching democracy.
This Talk will draw on two papers to be published in early 2015: ‘Citizen-generated local development initiative: recent English experience’ International Journal of Urban Studies, and ‘Civil Society Enterprise and Local Development’, Planning Theory and Practice