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Title: Public participation in policy networks : land reform and sustainable rural development in Scotland
Author: McGrath, Siân
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis focuses on local community involvement in policy-making and implementation; in the context of land reform and sustainable rural development in Scotland. In 1998, the new Scottish Parliament introduced a varied package of proposals for reforming the legal framework governing how land is owned and managed in Scotland. The objectives for this land reform package were to improve local communities’ access to decision-making: and break down the land-based barriers to rural development. This research uses the land reform package as an active example of public access to policy decision-making. It begins with a brief historic account of the public pressure for land reform in the 19th and 20th centuries. This demonstrates that negative impacts on local communities’ development opportunities have historically motivated grassroots action for land reform in Scotland. This research takes a policy network approach to understanding how decisions about land use and ownership are made in post-devolution Scotland. I interviewed members of the national network of groups and individuals that tried to influence the outcome of the land reform policy process. This study demonstrated that the traditionally dominant landed lobby has lost ground, but that it would still take time before direct community interest representatives are fully equipped to take advantage of Scotland’s more accessible Parliamentary decision-making system. The next stage of the research involved four case studies of local communities’ participation and development opportunities in four estates; each owned by an example of the four major categories of land owner in Scotland: private, community, conservation NGO and the state. These studies focused on how policy implementation networks provide communities with access to decision-making and development at the local level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available