The author explores the application of figurational sociology to developments in governance under New Labour. Expanding insights from the governmentality literature, he illustrates how individuals and communities are increasingly required to behave in ever more autonomous, self-realising, and self-managing ways - and how the expansion of partnership working as a way of disciplining communities around particular themes and issues is part of an ongoing process of governmentalisation exerting its influence on everyday life. Highlighting the wider figurational contingencies that hinder community attempts to attract mainstream resources through Local Strategic Partnerships, the author concludes by stressing the continued importance of developing inclusive governance structures. © 2005 a Pion publication printed in Great Britain.
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