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‘New Governance Spaces’: What generates a participatory disposition in different contexts?

Howard, Joanna; Lever, John


Joanna Howard

John Lever


This paper examines developments in governance and non- governmental public action in three diverse contexts. It is based on comparative international research that examined the role of non-governmental actors involved in partnership working with state actors in the UK, Bulgaria and Nicaragua. The paper draws on Crossley’s (2003) development of Bourdieu’s (1977) ‘theory of practice’ to examine the contextual factors that influence the participation of non-governmental actors in ‘new governance spaces’. It highlights three very different responses to the ‘opportunities’ governance offers, which illustrate how historical processes mould civil society relation’s vis-à-vis the state in highly significant ways. Although governance presents many obstacles to change, the paper concludes that the new forms of participation that are appearing in these spaces may be the foundations from which more significant change emerges.


Howard, J., & Lever, J. (2011). ‘New Governance Spaces’: What generates a participatory disposition in different contexts?. Voluntary Sector Review, 2(1), 77-95

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2011
Journal Voluntary Sector Review
Print ISSN 2040-8056
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 77-95
Keywords civil society, capital, habitus, non-governmental, participation
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Voluntary Sector Review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Howard, Joanna and Lever, John (2011) ‘New Governance Spaces’: what generates a participatory disposition in different contexts? Voluntary Sector Review, 2 (1). pp. 77-95. ISSN 2040-8056, is available online at:


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