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When do community leaders make a difference? exploring the interaction of actors and institutions

Munro, Hugh Alasdair David (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

There are an increasing number of opportunities for community leaders to be involved in governing processes. However, the community leader literature fails sufficiently to distinguish the interaction of structure and agency. The thesis establishes a theoretical approach which places community leaders as ‘situated agents’. The thesis establishes a ‘reading-acting-effect’ model to examine how the readings of actors are translated into action and how they interpret the difference this makes. Case studies of two neighbourhoods in Sheffield reveal the changing influence of the community and of the state upon community leaders’ behaviour. In the early stages of development community leaders concentrate on the substantive difference their actions have in their community. The state plays a more significant role as community leaders begin to operate in governance arenas, making compromises to access state resources. State actors play important roles as rule makers and interpreters that affect how community leaders behave. Community leaders face a central dilemma between: modifying their behaviour to work with the state thereby increasing their opportunities to receive funding; and the freedom of working at a distance from the state without such support. Conflict can arise between community leaders as they adopt different positions in relation to the state based on their distinct interpretations of this dilemma.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Skelcher, Chris (1951-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Local Government Studies
Subjects:JS Local government Municipal government
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:184
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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