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Title: A Study looking at the Governance of Community Safety Partnerships in Scotland
Author(s): Davidones, Catherine Elizabeth
Supervisor(s): Hamilton-Smith, Niall
Rummery, Kirstein
Keywords: Community Safety
Partnership working
Police Reform
Community Engagement
Third Part Policing
Participatory Democracy
Social Capital
Issue Date: Jan-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Partnership working within the domain of the UK public sector has been the subject of academic exploration in modern times. Rhodes has written in relation to tensions around governance i.e. the ‘hollowing out of the state’ (Rhodes, 1997), with a loss of government functions limiting its capacity (Weller and Bakvis, 1997), to alternative delivery systems, such as agencies, policy networks, or partnerships involving the public, private and third sector (Rhodes, 1997; James, 2001); arguably leading to a fragmented service delivery (Powell and Exworthy, 2002). Others have argued that while the state may be fragmented it is not incapacitated (Holliday, 2000) as it uses regulatory levers to steer local government (partnerships) towards outcomes favouring central government policy. In Scotland this is achieved through Single Outcome Agreements (SOA) between central and local government set within a prescriptive framework advancing the notion of community empowerment and long term prevention; as advocated by the Christie Commission (Scottish Government, 2011c). This thesis explores the concept of partnership working by looking at the governance of community safety in Scotland; principally through Community Planning/Community Safety Partnerships during a period of significant public sector reform. Using a case study approach - data was obtained during a twelve month period (2013) principally through 50 semi-structured qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and 9 non-participant observations of partnership meetings within three distinct localities; and analysis of secondary data (policy documents). Drawing on theories around governance/partnership working, power and social capital: key themes began to emerge around tensions between central and local policy; power differentials within partnerships – relating to organisational culture and resource dependency; fiscal retrenchment and the de-prioritisation of community safety; Police reform and the impact on localism; and accountability issues relating to participatory democracy, blurred boundaries, and accountability to local communities within the governance of community safety. This thesis concludes that despite the rhetoric of localism within local governance – local communities and local government have less voice/power compared to central government, in relation to the governance of community safety, and in relation to the loss of accountability within local policing.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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