Public value governance meets social commons: Community anchor organisations as catalysts for public service reform and social change?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scottish public service reform, with its concern for local partnerships and participation, preventing inequalities and sustainable public finances, can be understood as part of a new international wave of state-convened public value governance. Scottish Government focus on community empowerment through such reform has legitimised discussions of community-led approaches and offers cautious policy support for community anchor organisations. In this context, the community sector and community studies scholars continue to reflect critically on the complex relations between state and community, with some now exploring a social commons as a distinctive aspiration for democratic governance.

In this paper, our participatory research with six community anchor exemplars and a wider body of stakeholders provides empirical material to support discussion, interpretation and analysis at ‘the frontier’ of these two respective visions of governance. In particular, we consider the potential for community anchors to offer both collaborative leadership to facilitate cross-sector partnership and participation and agonistic leadership to provide countervailing, constructive challenge to the state. We conclude by advancing a research agenda at this frontier; one where community sector leadership seeks traction for social change at times of increasing social, political, economic and ecological crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-909
JournalLocal Government Studies
Volume47
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • social commons
  • public value governance
  • community anchor organisations
  • community sector and community-led
  • collaborative and agonistic leadership
  • participatory research

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