Community governance

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Community governance focuses on power that communities exercise in order to achieve policy outcomes that suit their needs. To successfully achieve proper policies, community governments must first identify and map the community's assets, capacities, and abilities in order to properly understand a community's strengths and weaknesses i.e. physical, economic, political, social, among others [1] [2]. Through this, it fills the gaps that are created by larger governmental structures and market lags that are not dealt with at state and federal levels.[3] Top-down approaches to community governance include community government wherein elected officials set policy and exact power over their local communities to enact policies while bottom-up approaches focus on citizen action at the grassroots level wherein communities form action groups and leaders demand change and create policy.[4] Community governance takes decision-making and community leadership executed by community members that have a vested interest in their community. By focusing on community instead of the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors, community governance distinguishes itself from other forms of governance.[5]


  1. ^ McKnight, John L.; Kretzmann, John (1996). "Mapping Community Capacity". The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Institute of Policy Research.
  2. ^ McKnight, John L.; Kretzmann, John P. (1993). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. ACTA Publications. p. 345-354. ISBN 087946108X.
  3. ^ Bowles, Samuel; Gintis, Herbert (2002-01-01). "Social Capital and Community Governance". The Economic Journal. 112 (483): F419–F436. CiteSeerX doi:10.1111/1468-0297.00077. JSTOR 798455.
  4. ^ Sullivan, H. (2001-09-01). "Modernisation, Democratisation and Community Governance". Local Government Studies. 27 (3): 1–24. doi:10.1080/714004110. ISSN 0300-3930.
  5. ^ Totikidis, Vicky; Armstrong, Anona; Francis, Ronald (28–30 Nov 2005). "The concept of community governance: a preliminary review". GovNet Conference.