De-mystifying 'partnership' and 'governance' : the case of Brighton and Hove
The aim of the thesis is to gain insight into the contemporary system of urban governance through an analysis of multi-sectoral regeneration partnerships. It specifically seeks to contribute to an understanding of urban governance through an investigation of three inter-linked themes. These are firstly, the power relations that governance entails; secondly, the quality of the relationships between those involved, with particular regard to the existence (or otherwise) of trust; and, thirdly, the democratic implications of the system. Three conceptual lenses were developed to investigate those central concerns, the first drawing on insights from regime theory, the second employing the literature on social capital and the third utilising the principles of deliberative democratic theory. These lenses were applied both separately and holistically to concrete examples of three different types of multisectoral regeneration partnerships operating within the geographical location of Brighton and Hove. The purpose was firstly, to ascertain whether when viewing the partnerships holistically the exercise of power, the development of trust and the engendering of democracy were compatible with one another; secondly, to gauge whether success in one of those dimensions was to the detriment of one or more of the others; and thirdly, to examine how different types of partnerships dealt with those issues. From the case study it was found that the exercise of power, the development of trust and the engendering of democracy were difficult goals for all of the partnerships studied. It was also found those goals were incompatible with one another and that success in one was to the detriment of one or more of the others but that the different types of partnership dealt with those issues in different ways. These findings contribute to a fuller understanding of multi-sectoral regeneration partnerships in and of themselves and they also provide insights into the contemporary system of urban governance. For the practice of urban governance they indicate, for example, that policy makers may be faced with incommensurable goals. At a conceptual level the findings suggest the need for a holistic approach to the subject.