Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Community, empowerment, and the city: Sources of capacity in local government
by Kitsuse, Alicia, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2010, 312; 3418260
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigates the factors that generate local-level capacity for community governance in low-material-resource communities. Two current models of capacity building suggest competing ways in which community governance capacity may be built, whether through the “bottom-up” interaction of indigenous local resources with interventions designed to enhance those resources or through a “top-down” approach in which local capacity is instantiated through the design of state-centered citizen participation programs. Drawing on the “hybrid” example of the City of Los Angeles neighborhood council system, which combines an institutional framework of local governance with reliance on indigenous resources, the study engages a micro-level comparison of the means and mechanisms that produce governance capacity within three neighborhood council organizations, using the competing frameworks to structure analysis. The investigation concludes by offering a model of supported self-determination, which suggests how top-down and bottom-up approaches to capacity building may be reconciled.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Musso, Juliet A.
Commitee: Sloane, David, Weare, Christopher, Wong, Janelle
School: University of Southern California
Department: Policy, Planning and Development
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public administration, Urban planning
Keywords: Citizen participation, Community, Community capacity building, Empowerment, Government, Local government
Publication Number: 3418260
ISBN: 978-1-124-16400-7
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