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Community participation: using social network analysis to improve developmental benefits

Holman, Nancy (2008) Community participation: using social network analysis to improve developmental benefits. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 26 (3). pp. 525-543. ISSN 0263-774X

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Identification Number: 10.1068/c0719p


Current British government policy leans heavily toward a participatory approach to urban development. The alleged benefits range from the growth of trust and social capital to better policy delivery and implementation involving a greater range of actors in the policy process. Yet, in many cases, poorly carried out partnership and participatory efforts can produce outcomes directly opposite to the benefits listed above. The author examines participation as a structural phenomenon and in doing so offers insights into how relationships could be strengthened in order to avoid these negative outcomes. Social network analysis is used to examine the structural relationships found within an urban redevelopment project in Portsmouth, England. Through the application of these measures, a number of relational patterns emerged which were not conducive to participation and left community groups feeling overwhelmed and underrepresented. The author concludes by noting how this technique could be used not only to highlight network imbalances, as seen in the case study, but also to offer community groups proactive advice in developing their network ties and communication structures, thus improving their overall position within the network and helping to deliver better levels of trust and social capital to the process.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Pion Ltd and its Licensors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010 15:04
Last Modified: 27 May 2024 06:57

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