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Understanding the factors underlying partnership working: a case study of the Northumberland National Park, England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Austin, Professor Guy Garrod



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Although rural partnership working is a well-researched area, less attention has been paid to the particular challenges in IUCN Category V protected areas. This paper explores the policy and practice of partnership working in a case study Category V area – Northumberland National Park, England. Qualitative research was conducted through documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with a sample of 23 stakeholders involved in the management of this protected area. It was found that a convoluted institutional history has shaped the present day approach to its management. The processes driving partnership working were understood in terms of governance factors with a relatively high degree of control and behavioural factors with a relatively low degree of control. There was a tacit acceptance among actors that success was dependent upon uncontrollable factors and in particular inter-personal relations between representatives of stakeholder bodies. These findings are important for all IUCN Category V protected areas reliant upon working within stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainable development objectives. Management bodies can benefit from examining the history of these often complex webs of relationships and the implications for communications between organisations if they are to understand the processes that underpin this form of governance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Austin R, Thompson N, Garrod GD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Land Use Policy

Year: 2016

Volume: 50

Pages: 115-124

Print publication date: 01/01/2016

Online publication date: 29/09/2015

Acceptance date: 13/09/2015

Date deposited: 15/09/2015

ISSN (print): 0264-8377

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5754

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.09.011


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