Local Government: A Social Ontology of Care

doi: 10.53116/pgaflr.7061


Setting out to determine what ‘local government’ is and how it can be understood, I conducted an analysis of the concept ‘local government’ by identifying its institutional, behavioural and territorial attributes. This analysis informed an ontological description of the nature of local government and the underlying assumptions about this reality. Ontological, local government, as a collection of ‘Dasein’ with an immanent tension between anxiety and care, may simultaneously be viewed as being a social collective of individuals, an institution consisting of individuals, and a social action or intervention performed by caring individuals. The description of the nature of local government provides a point of departure for describing and comparing this reality as situated in different contexts. It also serves as a proposed menu for the questioning and challenging of underlying assumptions about local government. The value of this social ontology of care lies in the description of the nature of the reality of local government situated in different contexts. Furthermore, it serves as an agenda for questioning and challenging the underlying assumptions about local government within different contexts.


care local government; social ontology social ontology of care concept analysis local government functions jurisdiction sphere local government institutions Dasein

How to Cite

Wessels, J. S. (2023). Local Government: A Social Ontology of Care. Public Governance, Administration and Finances Law Review, 8(2), 41–72. https://doi.org/10.53116/pgaflr.7061


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