'Spaces for Change? The Practice and Policy of Community Participation in Local Governance in Ireland'
On the 29th November 2018, the ISS21 Civil Society Cluster hosted a seminar on the practice and policy of community participation in local governance in Ireland. Speakers at the event included: Dr Mary Murphy, Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Dr Aodh Quinlivan, Department of Government, University College Cork; Aiden Lloyd, Chair of the Rights Platform and member of South Dublin PPN Secretariat and LCDC; and Dr Catherine Forde, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.
The seminar had four key aims:
- To explore and discuss the emergence in the last ten years of a number of new forms of local and national governance in Ireland.
- To critically examine community engagement and participation in local governance and the impacts of and opportunities for participation by Community, Voluntary and Local Development groups in structures such as Public Participation Networks (PPNs) and Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs).
- To present and discuss initial findings of an Irish Research Council-funded research project (2017-2019) which is critically evaluating the operation of Irish local participatory governance and its implications for Community, Voluntary and Local Development Sector groups and organisations, the wider community and the State.
- To debate whether local participatory governance can be effective in achieving key goals, including community representation and participation, democratic and deliberative engagement, and decision-making.
Presentations were followed by a panel discussion and a lively Q&A session with members of the audience. The event was chaired by Dr. Margaret Scanlon, ISS21.