From the mid-1990s and building on experiences from the community development strategies of the 1960s and 1970s, community-based approaches to policy making and implementation have been adopted in many market-oriented democracies as governments have tried new ways of addressing the complexity of their tasks. The link between governance models and the likelihood of place-focused policies succeeding in particular areas was noted as a characteristic of this trend by European commentators (Geddes and Benington 2001). More recently, Considine’s review of approaches over the last decade in European countries (2004a, 2004b) identified both the wide range of differences between the approaches used and the unevenness of their success. Despite this variety, his review finds that governance factors, that is to say the ways in which the links between people and institutions are established, are constantly crucial components of success. This is especially the case in respect of how local institutions and partnerships build networks which facilitate local level co-operation. This chapter explores the ways in which research can assist with the formation of government policies which facilitate the kinds of partnerships and networks which enable community strengthening.