Power and Politics in the Changing Structures of Rural Local Government

Authored by: David J. A. Douglas

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864

10.4324/9781315753041.ch50

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Abstract

Local government in rural areas is at once the unit of government closest to rural communities, their agendas and priorities and at the same time a vehicle of policy, programme administration and resource allocation for so-called higher levels of government. In today’s variegated and pervasive conditions of globalisation, a host of factors is conditioning the role and relevance of local government, while opening a diversity of as yet untested opportunities. Cutting across these realities, the emergence of a variety of ‘wicked’ problems challenges the connections between local government and the rural community itself, and its longer term development. Emanating from this dynamic, and from other sources, is the concept and practice of governance, which simultaneously appears to challenge the relevance of the institutionalised ‘local state’ while also potentially augmenting its role and relevance in the complexities of development.

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