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'My voice: My place': Tracking transformations in urban governance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jon Coaffee, Emeritus Professor Patsy Healey OBE


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This paper develops an institutionalist framework for analysing transformations in urban governance, focusing in particular on assessing the potential of initiatives designed to 'mainstream' citizen participation and 'voice' in local government processes. The framework centres on an analytical conception of levels of social formation: specific episodes of collective action; the on-going work of governance practices and discourse formation and use; and underpinning culturally embedded assumptions and habits. The central argument is that transformations in urban governance capacity need to penetrate all three levels to effect enduring changes in governance cultures. The framework is used to assess the early experience of an attempt to introduce 'area committees' by Newcastle City Council, UK, and their ability to act as a 'voice for place'. The paper examines how far the area committee initiative has the potential to achieve the objectives set for it, the qualities of the emerging governance processes in the initiative and their potential to transform the wider context of urban governance in the city.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coaffee J, Healey P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Urban Studies

Year: 2003

Volume: 40

Issue: 10

Pages: 1979-1999

ISSN (print): 0042-0980

ISSN (electronic): 1360-063X

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/0042098032000116077


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