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Untold story : evaluating the role of the local authority in regeneration amidst government and governance.

Donaldson, Sophie. 2006. Untold story : evaluating the role of the local authority in regeneration amidst government and governance. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis is concerned with both evaluation and governance, which it brings together through a focus on a UK local authority. It presents a comprehensive investigation of the role of the local authority in regeneration, which is a gap demonstrated to be relevant to both these literatures. The investigation involves observation and interviewing, together with literature reviews and the mining of secondary data from documentary sources: it thereby makes connections between the specific and the general. This material is used on the one hand, to problematise conventional approaches to the evaluative assessment of local authority regeneration initiative, and to assert a viable alternative. This addresses concerns related to the selectivity of conventional evaluative assessment, and the problem of the practicality of a more comprehensive approach. On the other hand, the material develops an understanding of the local authority as a distinctive but neglected actor within the contemporary multi-actor working environment in regeneration. This working environment is found to be usefully characterised as a situation of hierarchy and heterarchy, or multi-level governance, within which the local authority performs a vital middle or 'in-between' positioning. Such in-betweeness, which makes a situation of diverse capacities workable, denotes a mediation role, together with gap-filling and active orchestration; however this role is shown to be not without problems. A more comprehensive understanding both of the fate of the UK local authority and of the realities of governance is thereby contributed. Altogether, the thesis has implications for evaluation and research practice, evaluation theory, governance concepts and how local authorities conceive themselves and their essential tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
ISBN: 9781303174766
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:09

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