Critical perspectives on network governance in urban regeneration, community, involvement and integration
Keywords:network governance, urban regeneration, community involvement, social integration
Significant claims have been made about the benefits of network governance and management in securing community involvement and assisting social integration in complex urban regeneration programmes. The move from vertical to horizontal forms of coordination, and the assumption of a more equal power distribution between participants, have been combined with an emphasis on mutuality and trust to present networks as a promising mechanism for pluriform involvement and collective decisionmaking. Often this promise runs ahead of the evidence of how network governance functions in practice, the opportunities for different actors to influence the process and the often disappointing outcomes of joint decision-making. This special issue contributes to the ‘second generation of research on governance networks’ by tackling key questions relating to the sources of governance network failure and success. Building on the articles in this special issue, we explore these questions in relation to urban regeneration, community involvement and the integration of minority groups in The Netherlands, Sweden and England. This article reviews the articles in this special issue from the perspective of Klijn and Skelcher’s (2007) four conjectures on democracy and governance networks and Sørensen and Torfing’s (2007) four conditions for democratic anchorage. It also suggests ways in which the research agenda on networks in urban regeneration, community involvement and integration might be developed.
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