How do decision makers in local government respond to public participation? : case study : Lismore City Council 1991-1995 /

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.


Thesis (Ph. D)--Southern Cross University, 1996. Includes bibliographical references.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Action research, particularly participatory action research 4 , underpins some significant national and international studies examining change in social and environmental systems (for example Bradbury 2000, Carson 1996, and Morrisey 1998. Bradbury (2001) identified that action research is of significant value in building capacity for, and in the study of, efforts in support of sustainable development. ...
... Morrisey (1998) chose to use participatory action research to build upon the interpretive aspects of his case study research. Carson (1996) used critical theory and action research as a framework to derive some general principles for encouraging public participation in local government. These prior studies suggest that action research, and particularly participatory action research, is an appropriate framework for investigating the role of system dynamics modelling for improving communication between environmental management stakeholders. ...
... This could be viewed as a limitation of action research. Many, however, see responsiveness as strength of the action research methodology and use it expressly for that reason (for example Dick 1993, Carson 1996, King 2000. ...
Full-text available
Institutional and epistemological differences between science and management present a challenge to the implementation of sustainable environmental management. Environmental problems are complex and require at least multidisciplinary, but most effectively transdisciplinary approaches for learning, understanding, decision-making and problem solving. This means building bridges between institutional and epistemological differences. The role of system dynamics modelling in integrating environmental science and management is examined in this thesis. An action research methodology is adopted where, over cycles of case studies, the practical application of system dynamics modelling is evaluated. The role of system dynamics modelling in the management of coastal sand dunes, tourism, threatened species management and water management is explored in the case studies. It has been found that system dynamics modelling is a potentially powerful tool for integrating environmental science and management, principally assisting communication between scientists and management stakeholders. System dynamics group model-building, in particular, has the potential to facilitate stakeholder learning and assist stakeholders to think holistically about the complex systems they are trying to manage. It was also found that engaging stakeholders in system dynamics group model-building process is difficult. A model of factors influencing the adoption of system dynamics group model-building has been developed from this research. The model can be applied to assess the suitability of potential case studies and identify potential weaknesses that need to be addressed if the approach is to succeed.
... Representative government as we know it today, based on notions of political equality among citizens and the power of the people, has evolved from a system of institutions established following revolutions in England, America and France. It was not originally based on notions of classical democracy of government by the people, best exemplified by the Athenian state, and indeed was designed by people who saw democracy as a threat (Carson 1996). Over the past two hundred years there have been many changes within political systems, such as the establishment of universal suffrage, the extension of voting rights to almost all people and regular free elections. ...
During the twentieth century, women were elected into all spheres of government and political leadership positions in increasing numbers. Still, their numbers are substantially lower than their representation in the population. The same trend is evident in local government in many countries. With few exceptions, there are now more women numerically and proportionately in local government than in state or national governments. Nevertheless, the limited research on women representatives in local government demonstrates that the environment of local government is not necessarily comfortable for women. Many more women than men leave local government voluntarily. If women who are currently practising politics inside local government leave in substantial numbers then little will change. This means that women entering it in the future will face the same environments and challenges (Freeman & Bourque 2001).Against this background, the research study seeks to provide an explanation of how different women experience and perceive positions traditionally held by men, whether there are shared understandings and experiences that transcend the women’s differences and whether they are changing the environment of local government. To investigate these questions, I employ qualitative feminist research within a framework of feminist political theory, drawing broadly on a range of feminist theory and a variety of political emphases. I interview forty-nine women leaders in local government from England, Sweden, India, the Philippines and Australia, investigating their perspectives and practice thus weighing theory with practice.Several theoretical and practical themes emerge from these findings. The practice revealed by the interviewees is complex, ambiguous and nuanced, consistent with the feminist valuation of relationship, context and the particular. The interviewees bring a different social perspective, reflecting their situated experiences, to their work. This transforms the masculinist environment of the lion’s den in significant, albeit subtle, ways. The practice of the interviewees shapes agendas and decision-making processes, changes the way representatives of both genders feel about those processes, and molds outcomes for their communities in subtle but distinct ways. In addition, many of the interviewees use their agency actively to change the practices and environment of their councils.I conclude that the practice revealed by these interviewees is best described as a dance in a complex and alien environment, within which women make a palpable difference. This supports arguments for increasing women at the leadership level in both the administrative and political areas of local government, supported by a critical mass of women councillors. More than that, it testifies to the urgency of that task if local government – the lion’s den – is to be more representative of the diverse people it purports to represent.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.