Developing a regional governance index: the institutional potential ofrural regions

Morrison, T. H. (2014) Developing a regional governance index: the institutional potential ofrural regions. Journal of Rural Studies, 35 101-111. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.04.004

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Author Morrison, T. H.
Title Developing a regional governance index: the institutional potential ofrural regions
Journal name Journal of Rural Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0743-0167
Publication date 2014-07-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.04.004
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 35
Start page 101
End page 111
Total pages 11
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 1107 Forestry
3305 Geography, Planning and Development
3303 Development
3312 Sociology and Political Science
Abstract The problems of rural regions include globally uneven power relations and development patterns, and rapid and uncertain exogenous threats. At the same time, economic and social restructuring involving devolved planning responsibilities, privatised resource rights, and networked management approaches have undermined previous scholarly and policy assumptions about the character of rural regions. We already know that local and regional institutions play a critical role in ensuring the resilience and resourcefulness of rural regions in the face of such challenges. We do not yet understand why some rural regions are resourceful while others strain or even paralyse under conditions of inequity, complexity, uncertainty, and unpredictability. This paper seeks to identify the operational elements of effective regional governance, based on the premise that measuring and monitoring the potential for regional governance enables an assessment of the capacity of regional institutions to cope with the diversity of problems that may arise. A regional governance index is proposed. Four indicators of regional governance are identified, enabling measurement of (1) engagement in regional networks; (2) diversity and synergies across the instrument mix; (3) robustness and adaptability in instrument design; and (4) broader fiscal, administrative and democratic support. These indicators are tested using a case analysis of two rural regions in the USA and Australia. The test reveals the higher level of regional institutional potential in one of the regions, and highlights the critical function of regional network engagement and broader enabling fiscal, administrative and democratic preconditions in this region. The role of the state in organizing the conditions for these is shown to be vital. These findings are of use to particular regions concerned with enhancing their institutional performance, and can also assist government agencies and nonprofits to prioritise their investment and intervention in rural regions. Further development of systematic work in this domain needs to focus on the role and tools of the state, and other 'metagovernors', in organizing both the conditions for regional network engagement, and the broader enabling fiscal, administrative and democratic pre-conditions.
Keyword Rural
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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