Article

Divergence in Community Participation Policy: Analysing Localism and Community Empowerment Using a Theory of Change Approach

Details

Citation

Rolfe S (2016) Divergence in Community Participation Policy: Analysing Localism and Community Empowerment Using a Theory of Change Approach. Local Government Studies, 42 (1), pp. 97-118. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2015.1081848

Abstract
The last two decades have witnessed a significant turn towards community participation in public policy around the globe, raising concerns that states are resorting to 'government through community', shifting responsibilities onto communities. In order to unpack the ambiguous rhetoric of policy statements, this article employs ideas from evaluation methodology to develop a generic theory of change for community participation policy. The model is then utilised to analyse and compare the UK Coalition Government's Big Society/Localism agenda and the Scottish Government's Community Empowerment approach, demonstrating the ways in which these represent a clear example of policy divergence, and potentially significant alternatives to state-community relations in the context of austerity. The article also demonstrates the potential wider applicability of ‘Theories of Change' methodology for policy analysis.

Keywords
Austerity; community involvement; policy divergence; policy evaluation; theory-based evaluation

Journal
Local Government Studies: Volume 42, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online28/08/2015
Date accepted by journal20/07/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23241
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0300-3930

People (1)

People

Dr Steve Rolfe
Dr Steve Rolfe

Lecturer in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology