Dissertation Abstracts

Partnership-Based Governance : A Powerful Driver of the Development of Rural Communities

Author: Bisson, Luc , bisson.luc.2014@gmail.com
Department: Regional Developement
University: Université du Québec à Rimouski , Canada
Supervisor: Bruno Jean
Year of completion: 2010
Language of dissertation: French

Keywords: governance , development , rural , regional
Areas of Research: Regional and Urban Development , Social Transformations and Sociology of Development , Community Research


A partnership-based governance can make a difference in the trajectory of development – leading or lagging - of any rural community. That governance model identifies a balanced contribution of various actors in positions to decide and implement decisions for the wellbeing of the whole community. By various actors, we mean equal participation of the private sector, the local government and the civil society or citizens. Such partnership-based governance, and the territorial management associated with it, seems to be more frequently present in leading communities like in the village of Doaktown, the case study in this dissertation. This kind of governance contrasts significantly from what we have found in the lagging community facing economic and social decline. The local governance in Lomer (fictional name) has been monopolised over the years by local groups (clans) that are not interested in the wellbeing of the whole community but rather in the promotion of their specific interests. These cases studies show how, on the leading community side, specific social rules emerge and contribute to an effective local governance and, on the lagging community side, how unsolved conflicts generate a cycle of devitalisation and a declining trajectory development that is difficult to reverse.

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