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The importance of context for effective public engagement: learning from the governance of waste

Bull, Richard, Petts, Judith and Evans, James (2010) The importance of context for effective public engagement: learning from the governance of waste Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 53, (8), pp. 991-1009. (doi:10.1080/09640568.2010.495503).

Record type: Article


This paper takes a new look at the importance of context - institutional and political - in effective public engagement processes. It does so through a rare comparative opportunity to examine the effectiveness of processes of public engagement in two UK waste authorities, where the same waste company was involved as both the primary contractor for the delivery of the waste management service (including new energy-from-waste facilities) and, furthermore, the same staff delivered the public engagement. Interrogating these cases affords the opportunity to place flesh on the bones of the sometimes 'abstract' skeleton of context. While engagement processes support effective local governance in an era of partnerships and deliberative democracy, the paper identifies that the methods adopted cannot be played out devoid of detailed understanding and response to local context, including the strength of partnership working between the public and private sector, the degree of political support for engagement, and the extent to which a traditional institutional paternalism still dominates.

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Published date: December 2010
Keywords: public engagement, deliberative democracy, learning, context, governance, waste
Organisations: Social Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 170441
ISSN: 0964-0568
PURE UUID: 48ddaddc-6973-4d1b-ae9a-40946386bf7c

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Date deposited: 06 Jan 2011 15:44
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:17

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Author: Richard Bull
Author: Judith Petts
Author: James Evans

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