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
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.
Austerity; community involvement; policy divergence; policy evaluation; theory-based evaluation
Local Government Studies: Volume 42, Issue 1
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|Taylor and Francis