Chapter 31: Strengthening national governance systems to support local self-reliance.

Dale, Allan, and Dale, Michele (2022) Chapter 31: Strengthening national governance systems to support local self-reliance. In: Dale, Allan, Curnow, Jayne, Campbell, Andrew, and Seigel, Michael, (eds.) Building global sustainability through local self-reliance: Lessons from landcare. ACIAR monograph series . Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia, pp. 379-388.

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The Australian and increasingly international landcare movement reflects renewed recognition of the concept of personal and local self-reliance within national, provincial and local governance systems. While the word ‘subsidiarity’ is seldom used to describe landcare, the concept deeply espouses and reflects a key governance system principle. Subsidiarity is all about the making of decisions at the most appropriate scale to effect positive outcomes for society. In many of our nations, the emergence of more centralised forms of governance have tended to eschew the subsidiarity principle, implicitly (and often explicitly) diminishing the importance and profile of local self-reliance. This ongoing problem in governance systems across the world brings significant risk to policy domains that fundamentally rely on the behaviour of individuals, property owners and local communities as the first line of action.

This chapter explores why local self-reliance is so critical in many policy domains, ranging from environmental management to health and social welfare, disaster preparedness and response, law and order, counterterrorism and even economic development. It then explores several common dilemmas and trends in national approaches to governance that weaken local self-reliance. Finally, the paper explores what governments can do (from national to provincial and local levels) to revisit the subsidiarity principle. In doing so, we celebrate the concept of landcare as a grassroots movement of extremely wide importance.

Item ID: 75902
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
ISBN: 978-1-922787-24-8
ISSN: 1447-090X
Keywords: self-reliance; governance systems; landcare; subsidiarity; local; centralisation; education; heutagogy;
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Copyright Information: © Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research 2022 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from ACIAR, GPO Box 1571, Canberra ACT 2601,
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2022 06:46
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 45%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 10%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440407 Socio-economic development @ 45%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy @ 10%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180604 Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments @ 90%
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