Power Practice and Civil Society Participation in the Urban Development Governance Context: The Case of Damascus, Syria between 2005-2010

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the effects of the international policies of civil society empowerment promoted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the practice of ‘power’ among social actors within the governance context of land-use decision-making in the counties of the South. In this, the paper examines the case of Syria, where a case study analysis was conducted in the city of Damascus. A key aim is to identify the characteristics of the related urban development context in terms of land-use decision-making, key actors, and the processes of regulatory framework. Further analysis will examine aspects of power practised among the social actors involved in making decisions on land-use, and how this practice is affected by contemporary UNDP empowerment policies. The position of civil society and its access to power practice in this process is pivotal to the overall debate. Within this context, the paper identifies a contradiction between the ‘ideal’ civil society empowerment policies promoted by the UNDP and the ‘reality’ of the urban development context in the countries of the South. This is because these policies are based on a ‘power-to’ concept in terms of governance, whereas empowering civil society participation in urban governance is related to the wider political, economic and social context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Sociological Research
EditorsJared A. Jaworski
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Pages59-92
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781634855457
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Sociology Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Volume19
ISSN (Print)1558-0358

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