Revisiting governance systems analysis in Northern Australia: exploring critical systems thinking as a framework for engaging with multiplicity and incommensurability

Stephens, Anne, Opperman, Elspeth, and Dale, Allan (2018) Revisiting governance systems analysis in Northern Australia: exploring critical systems thinking as a framework for engaging with multiplicity and incommensurability. In: Wallace, Ruth, Harwood, Sharon, Gerritson, Rolf, Prideaux, Bruce, Brewer, Tom, Rosenman, Linda, and Dale, Allan, (eds.) Rethinking Northern Australia Development. ANU Press, Canberra, ACT, Australia. (In Press)

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Abstract

Northern Australia, the region of Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn, is characterized by profound difference and complexity in cultures, worldviews and ways of being. An array of diverse governance responses to the way this complexity and difference manifests itself has been discussed elsewhere (Stephens, 2014). This chapter reflects in particular on the use of Governance Systems Analysis (GSA) in northern Australia in improving governance outcomes in this complex world. GSA is an analytical tool deployed to support deliberative dialogue among those involved in complex governance systems and contexts in the north. To date, its most common use has been in the mobilization of the dominant norms of governmental practice to resolve complex problems at a landscape scale. In the context of multiplicity and incommensurability of different ways of being, this chapter seeks to enhance GSA’s ability to engage explicitly and ethically with genuine cultural difference embedded within northern Australian society. It uses Critical Systems Thinking (CST) to revisit, through systems thinking, GSA’s structural-functionalist foundations. The chapter’s objective is to enhance an approach to complex problem solving that is already used in Northern Australia to support practical policy engagements.

Item ID: 54760
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: Northern Australia Development; Governance Systems Analysis; critical systems thinking
Funders: Northtern Futures Collaborative Research Network
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2018 01:59
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis @ 100%
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