Civics Citizenship

Participatory Democracy in Southern Europe: Causes, by Joan Font, Donatella della Porta, Yves Sintomer

By Joan Font, Donatella della Porta, Yves Sintomer

Citizen participation is a significant section of democratic governance. As participatory schemes have grown in quantity and won in social legitimacy over contemporary years, the examine group has analyzed the virtues of participatory rules from a number of issues of view, yet frequently giving concentration to the main winning and famous grass-roots circumstances. This publication examines a much broader variety of participatory interventions which were created or legitimized by means of crucial governments, delivering unique exploration of institutional democratic participatory mechanisms.

Looking at a big number of subnational examples throughout Italy, Spain and France, the booklet interrogates the wealthy findings of a considerable examine venture. The authors use quantitative and qualitative the right way to evaluate why those situations of participatory mechanisms have emerged, how they functionality, and what cultural influence they’ve completed. this enables hugely unique insights into why participatory mechanisms paintings in a few areas, yet now not others, and the kinds of decisions that organizers of participatory tactics need to examine whilst growing such guidelines.

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Extra info for Participatory Democracy in Southern Europe: Causes, Characteristics and Consequences

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In our sample, this is the case in Catalonia, Aragon and Andalusia. This is also common in France, and Poitou-Charentes had a very strong department for citizen participation before it was merged with the education department and the president’s office, making participation a transversal concern of the whole administration. Italy has followed the same direction, perhaps with less velocity: for example, Toscana has an important authority promoting citizen participation, but this is not the case in Apulia.

Local Agenda 21s exist in all three countries, although they are probably less popular than a decade ago. Participatory budgets were also introduced at nearly the same time in the three countries: they have been visible but still remain relatively marginal in numbers compared with other mainstream devices. In Spain, the most common mechanisms remain focused on the neighbourhood associations that were created during the transition to democracy and during the eighties. Consultative councils are the most utilised mechanism of citizen participation in municipalities.

However, this is always much more limited for several reasons: First, online information is public (unlike answers to a survey), and this restricts how much respondents can exaggerate the virtues of their processes. Second, it is an official statement from the municipality, whereas the survey response could always be considered a personal opinion of the respondent. Third, in some cases, online information comes from several sources or includes evaluations made by third parties (Font and Galais 2011).

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