Toward participatory governance?: an exploration of the role of citizen participation in policy development and governance in Queensland

Reddel, Timothy James. (2003). Toward participatory governance?: an exploration of the role of citizen participation in policy development and governance in Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Reddel, Timothy James.
Thesis Title Toward participatory governance?: an exploration of the role of citizen participation in policy development and governance in Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Smyth, Paul
Total pages 363
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
370102 Social Policy and Planning
750399 Community services not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract Following its election in 1989, the Australian Labor Party government in Queensland under the premiership of Wayne Goss, instituted a political, policy and administrative reform agenda based on the discourse of openness, accountability and responsiveness. This agenda was in stark contrast with Queensland's history of undemocratic governance practices. A key characteristic of these reforms was the tension between a rational and controlled approach to community consultation and policy development and an aspiration to enlarge the scope of citizen participation in the policy process. This thesis interrogates the Queensland experience in the light of theoretical directions formed around the concepts of dialogic, deliberative and associative democracy as a way of overcoming citizen alienation and the fragmentation of the institutions of liberal representative democracy. Key national and international debates about the nature of a more participatory form of democratic organisation as a response to these challenges are highlighted. These debates straddle a diverse range of theory and policy ideas ranging from the ancient promise of civic republicanism to modem approaches to public administration based on the notions of network governance. The thesis draws attention to emerging forms of distributed or dispersed democratic governance not necessarily reliant on traditional views of hierarchical authority, power, the state, government, community and citizenship.

This thesis explores the theoretical and policy dimensions of these challenges, debates and directions through a multiple case study investigation of citizen participation, policy development and governance in the Australian State of Queensland. By investigating three case studies of participatory practice during the period of the Goss government (1989-1996) a number of theoretical and policy practice dimensions are explored. At a theoretical level, the problematic relationship between liberal representative government and participatory forms of democracy is highlighted, while from a practical perspective the limitations of traditional participation and policy development techniques are evidenced. The notion of the "technologies of participatory governance" is proposed as a bridge between such theoretical and more practical research concerns and as a framework to promote participatory forms of democratic organisation which complement and extend liberal representative democracy, Importantly, the role of an active state in relation to an engaged civil society is reaffirmed as fundamental to this reconceptualisation of participatory democracy.
Keyword Democracy -- Queensland.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:19:45 EST