Contested governance: culture, power and institutions in by Janet Hunt, Diane Smith, Stephanie Garling, Will Sanders

By Janet Hunt, Diane Smith, Stephanie Garling, Will Sanders

It's steadily being acknowledged through either Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that obtaining modern Indigenous governance correct is prime to bettering Indigenous healthiness and producing sustained socioeconomic improvement. This selection of papers examines the dilemmas and demanding situations fascinated about the Indigenous fight for the improvement and popularity of structures of governance that they realize as either valid and potent. The authors spotlight the character of the contestation and negotiation among Australian governments, their brokers, and Indigenous teams over the appropriateness of alternative governance techniques, values and practices, and over the appliance of comparable coverage, institutional and investment frameworks inside Indigenous affairs. The long term, comparative examine mentioned during this monograph has been nationwide in assurance, and group and local in concentration. It has pulled jointly a multidisciplinary staff to paintings with associate groups and organizations to enquire Indigenous governance arrangements–the strategies, buildings, scales, associations, management, powers, capacities, and cultural foundations–across rural, distant and concrete settings. This ethnographic case examine examine demonstrates that Indigenous and non-Indigenous governance platforms are intercultural in recognize to problems with energy, authority, associations and relationships. It records the meant and accidental consequences–beneficial and negative–arising for either Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians from the realities of contested governance. The findings recommend that the facilitation of powerful, valid governance could be a coverage, investment and institutional critical for all Australian governments. This study was once carried out less than an Australian examine Council Linkage undertaking, with Reconciliation Australia as companion.

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Will Sanders explores how the Anmatjere Community Government Council (ACGC) has managed the tensions between regionalism and local autonomy in Central Australia over the past 15 years. The ACGC operated with a form of ‘regional federalism’, which had demanding quorum rules that became unworkable and were eventually reformed. But its success in supporting what Sanders describes as ‘dispersed single settlement localism’, while still managing its regional mandate, provides another illustration of how regionalism and localism can coexist successfully as a governance model; a conclusion that mirrors Diane Smith’s analysis from West Arnhem Land.

Fig. 1 The ICGP case study sites included in this volume ICGP researchers also undertook case studies of the ‘governance environment’, which was conceptualised separately for analytical purposes. These studies focused on the changing policy, service delivery and funding frameworks being implemented by different levels of government. The goals and rationale of government strategies were analysed and their impacts on the ground investigated. Language is a key feature of political and policy processes.

They are especially influential in determining the extent to which governance arrangements are judged to be proper and legitimate. To that extent, the chapters collectively remind us that institutional strength is not only fundamental to achieving effective Indigenous governance, but that it must be created from the considered and informed choice of Indigenous people themselves, not through external imposition. To outsiders, Indigenous organisations and their leaders are often the most visible expression of governance in communities.

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