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• Stories and coordination tools evolve together In governance, identity narratives are important big stories that play out all the time and make the integration of other stories possible. Identity narratives include stories about place and community (this is a fishing or logging community, a prosperous community, etc.), as well as broad ideologies on what the “good community” is, what “good governance” is, and in essence, different versions of what “good democracy” is. In the governance path, many other stories emerged from these foundational narratives, and from the daily practice of community governance, from how a community lives together, finds tools to coordinate governance, remembers what worked and what did not work in the past, looks forward to the future in ways restricted and formed by ideology, and perceives good and bad tools, forces, situations, and environments.

• Knowledge and power intertwined >

community analysis causes friction

Knowledge never creates meaning in isolation, it only makes sense as part of discursive configurations, of networks of stories, all of which are enmeshed and entwined with power in intricate ways. Those who tell, create, teach, and institutionalize stories, those who embed stories in governance and planning have power. Those who challenge and change these stories, those who learn and reframe, also have power, and have the potential to reduce or remove old power structures. That’s why in-depth community analysis, learning from self, is never just learning, never just about new knowledge, but always involves challenging identities and power relations.

• Self-analysis reveals learning options >

inclusion, exclusion, transformation

Community self-analysis shows how other knowledge and tools, derived from other places and ideas, can enter the fray of local governance. This process can provide communities with an idea of how a particular expertise may likely play out if included in their community, elucidate why it was excluded in the first place, or highlight which actors, institutions, knowledge, and power relations have to be understood and faced, and which dependencies have to be managed or transformed, to successfully draw on new strategies or expertise.

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Boom and Bust: a guide

Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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