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Challenges to the Grassroots: The Use of Strategic Planning by Southern Progressives for Economic Development and Power Relations in the Lower Mississippi Delta

Stanley E. Hyland

This paper analyzes the causes for the shift toward the use of strategic planning by Southern Progressives and its implications for community-based groups through an examination of two major initiatives involving either a major federal or foundation program. Specifically, it examines the use of strategic planning in handling conflict with community-based groups as these groups attempt to gain more fiscal resources and decision-making authority in public policy. Simultaneously, the Southern Progressive tradition seeks to use strategic planning to coordinate, centralize, and dominate these smaller organizations while achieving their ends. The implications and, hence, challenges for community-based groups in this shifting strategy by Southern Progressives are critical to the future understanding of power and economic community development in the Lower Mississippi Delta.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 22, Spring, 2002 pp 68- 74

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