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    Crossing Boundaries, Spanning Sectors: An Examination of Community Representation & Participation on Sub-National Collaborative Governance Structures in Ireland

    O'Shea, Marianne (2020) Crossing Boundaries, Spanning Sectors: An Examination of Community Representation & Participation on Sub-National Collaborative Governance Structures in Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Since the late 1990s Ireland has seen a significant expansion in the number and range of formalised processes and mechanisms to enable engagement between the local state and its citizens / residents. Many community-based organisations with a focus on social inclusion nominate representatives to participate in these structures in the hope that they can influence policy-making and/or policy implementation. In doing so these representatives take on a ‘boundary spanning’ role, inhabiting the often-challenging collaborative space between the state and civil society. This thesis explores the experiences of these community organisation representatives within collaborative local government spaces. Using a qualitative research design and focusing on three different case types, the thesis reviewed in-depth the experience of 12 community representatives who have participated in a range of institutionally distinct and thematically divergent collaborative structures. The thesis concludes that, by and large, despite high levels of commitment from community representatives who have amassed a considerable amount of expertise and experience in working collaboratively, the extent of real collaborative actions and impacts remains limited. In particular, where complex problems are the focus of the collaborative governance structure, even less progress has been made, as political and administrative preoccupations trump any commitment towards collaborative engagement and problem solving. The research also highlights the impact of institutional design and management of collaborative governance mechanisms. In particular, it demonstrates the impact of externally designed formal rules of collaboration and the control exercised by local authorities over many mechanisms. This was seen to shape the nature of participation and interactions between key stakeholders, especially in the management of deliberation and agendas, in the process, restricting voice and influence and undermining trust.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Crossing Boundaries; Spanning Sectors; Examination; Community Representation; Participation; Sub-National Collaborative; Governance Structures; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 18026
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 16:24
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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