Module Identifier GG37720  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Bill Edwards  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Bill Edwards  
Pre-Requisite Normally entry to SH, JH, Major/Minor BA/BSc geography  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours 18 x 50 minutes lectures to include discussion, delivered in 10 x 2 hour sessions  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 Hours 2 x 30 minute Seminar sessions 1 x 30 minute supervisory tutorial per student enrolled - requiring a written outline and oral presentation of the research assignment  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Unseen Examination Complete two from four questions set50%
Semester Assessment Independent Research Assignment IGES policy on the late submission of work will apply to the coursework assignment 2500 words40%
Semester Assessment Seminars Contributions to discussion in seminars and through oral presentation of the research assignment proposal10%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Unseen Examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Independent Research Assignment 2500 words. Resit on condoned (medical) grounds arising from non-completion of examination or coursework involves the completion of the missing component(s) for the full range of marks on dates set in the Supplementary Examination period. Resit due to aggregate failure or non-completion of part of the assessment requires re-examination of each of the main components if marks of <40% in both were obtained, or re-examination or resubmission of the failed component (examination or assignment) to obtain a maximum mark of 40% for the module. The assessments for examination and research assignment remain identical to the Semester Assessment. As no oral assessment is included in the Supplementary Examination, these two components constitute 100% of the resit assessment.50%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate and critically evaluate the role of the State in encouraging local citizen participation through policy initiatives

2. Discuss the role of Civil Society in developing local empowerment and the 'capacity to act' by citizens

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of participatory strategies in a range of territorial contexts and for different social fractions

4. Show competence in undertaking an individual, 'policy-focused' research assignment evaluating local participation in policy, planning and regeneration strategies

5. Participate in discussion and undertake an oral presentation on their research proposal

Brief description

This module addresses a key theme in contemporary socio-political geography through a critical evaluation of public policy and planning initiatives that are currently practiced to encourage residents to participate more directly in decision-making in their local areas.

Drawing on a range of policy initiatives and evidence from both rural and urban settings, the opening section of the module discusses the changing nature of 'communities' and neighbourhoods and the consequences that arise for local participation. It then describes and evaluates the nature of contemporary participation in local politics and government, in local voluntary associations and in a range of community regeneration initiatives. This evidence provides a critical insight into the level of participation that is occurring and the policy that has encouraged such engagement.

These themes lead to a theoretical and conceptual reappraisal of the changing relations between the State and civil society apparent in contemporary policy; to a discussion of the importance of concepts of governance and governmentality in the understanding of these changes; to the new expectations of citizenship that are being promoted and to a consideration of the geographically uneven outcomes of such practices. This raises further questions for consideration: namely what are the consequences that arise from a policy emphasis with a strong community and neighbourhood focus, what might be the most appropriate routes through which to encourage local leadership and active citizenship and how, in such a context, to address issues of social exclusion. The module concludes with a discussion of the new spaces of citizenship that are emerging.


Section A: Policy and Practice

Section B: Theory and Policy

Reading Lists

** Reference Text
Crowe, G. and Allen. G (1994) Community Life; an introduction to local social relations Harvester Wheatsheaf, UK
Dean, M. (1999) Governmentality: power and rule in modern society Sage, London
Edwards, B. et al (2000) Partnership Working in rural regeneration Policy Press, Bristol
Etzioni (1990) The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities and the Communitarian agenda Fontana, London
Henderson, P. and Francis, D (1993) Rural Action Pluto Press, London
Hoggart, P (ed) (1997) Contested Communities: experiences, struggles, policies Policy Press, Bristol
Levitas, R. (1998) The inclusive society: social exclusion and New Labour Macmillan, London
Parry, G., Moyser, G. and Day, N (1992) Political Participation and Democracy in Britain Cambridge University Press
Puttnam, R.D. (1993) Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy Princeton University Press, New Jersey
Rydin, Y (1993) The British Planning System Macmillan Press, London
Shucksmith, M (2000) Exclusive Countryside? Policy Press, Bristol
Westholm, E. et al (1999) Local Partnerships and rural development in Europe Cheltenham


This module is at CQFW Level 6