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Reconfiguring rural resource governance : the legacy of neoliberalism in Australia

posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Stewart Lockie, Geoffrey LawrenceGeoffrey Lawrence, L Cheshire
Rural resource management in Australia has focused primarily on fostering conditions for the ‘development’ of natural resources and, to the extent that it has addressed social and environmental issues, managing negative externalities in order to maintain production. While the state has been, and remains, a key facilitator of this process, changes in the mode of governing in Australia – as elsewhere – have meant that the state is no longer the sole arbiter of legitimate action. Instead, we adopt the concept of rural resource governance to refer to the range of institutions and actors that exist, and have quite profound influence over the way Australia’s natural resources are managed. In exploring rural resource governance, particular attention is paid to the exercise of political power that occurs ‘beyond the state’, and the way in which that power works to contour what is expected, and is possible, of social actors (in this case, farmers, graziers, foresters and miners). Contemporary governance is about extra-state authority as the means of legitimizing action, and of achieving local ‘ownership’ of natural resource management. This chapter, then, is about the ways in which natural resource governance has been fashioned, within Australia, under neoliberalism - a policy regime that has had prominence over the past twenty years.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)



Cloke P; Marsden T; Mooney P





Place of Publication


Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Social Science Research; TBA Research Institute; University of Queensland;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Number of Chapters