The Social Relations of Organisational Activity and the New Local Governance in the UK

The Social Relations of Organisational Activity and the New Local Governance in the UK
Mike Raco
[Paper Žrst received, August 2000; in Ž nal form, July 2001]
Summary. The nature and form of local governance in the UK became the focus for a wide range of academic and policy debates during the 1980s and 1990s. The growth of non-elected localist agencies working alongside local authorities had a major in uence on the effectiveness of, and the local policy-making processes behind, policy areas such as urban regeneration. This paper contributes to these debates by arguing that one often neglected or underemphasised aspect of our understanding of local governance is that of the social relations of organisational activity. Drawing on organisational theories and linking them to contemporary debates on local governance, the paper suggests that an exploration of the internal dynamics of non-elected institutions, working in and though wider social, economic and political contexts, provides a more sophisticated understanding of contemporary local political processes than studies which focus on the powers, resources and responsibilities of organisations per se. The study suggests that, in the context of partnership-building and institutional co-operation at the local level, the types of organisational dynamics highlighted in the paper may take on even greater signiŽ cance in future.

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