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Suburban affairs: political communities across Sydney


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Spies-Butcher, B, Vromen, A and Marsh, I 2008 , 'Suburban affairs: political communities across Sydney', paper presented at the Australasian Political Science Association 2008, 6-9 July 2008, Brisbane.

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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Recent literatures explore aspects of political organisation at the local level. These
include studies of social capital where such issues as the effects of diversity, the
relevance of political opportunity structures and government facilitation all figure. A
complementary literature explores new patterns of citizen engagement. Finally there are a
number of earlier studies of local community organisations in Australia. This paper
reports the preliminary findings of a survey of community organisation in six diverse
state electorates in Sydney. Our methodology involved a three month time frame that
utilised local newspapers, newsletters and websites of local organisations, local council
information and websites, and interviews with prominent political actors, including
candidates in state election. The three month period purposefully covered the following
events: NSW state election March 24, Harmony Day March 21, Youth Week April 14-22,
and Anzac Day April 25, that may have led to one-off examples of community
organising. Contrary to expectations the study found broadly similar numbers of
organisations were active in these communities. However, the types of organisations, the
populations they represented and their strategies of advocacy and mobilisation differed.
Issues to be explored in future work are also foreshadowed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Spies-Butcher, B and Vromen, A and Marsh, I
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