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 important part of democratic governance. As participatory schemes have grown in quantity and received in social legitimacy over contemporary years, the learn group has analyzed the virtues of participatory rules from numerous issues of view, yet frequently giving concentration to the main winning and recognized grass-roots situations. This e-book examines a much broader variety of participatory interventions which have been created or legitimized by means of principal governments, supplying unique exploration of institutional democratic participatory mechanisms.

Looking at a major number of subnational examples throughout Italy, Spain and France, the ebook interrogates the wealthy findings of a considerable examine venture. The authors use quantitative and qualitative how to examine why those circumstances of participatory mechanisms have emerged, how they functionality, and what cultural influence they’ve accomplished. this enables hugely unique insights into why participatory mechanisms paintings in a few locations, yet no longer others, and the kinds of decisions that organizers of participatory strategies need to ponder while developing such guidelines.

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Are participants different from others who have never been involved in these participatory mechanisms? Chapter 6 continues the focus on participants but concentrates on a particular subgroup: the only group in which real cultural changes in the medium term could be expected, those participants who have been actively involved in instruments that can be considered intense enough to produce such changes. In other words, either permanent processes that develop over a long period of time, such as participatory budgeting, or short but intense deliberative experiences of a mini-public style.

In Spain, the high number, fragmentation and diversity of local governments have led to a lack of sufficient budgetary 24 Chapter 2 funds and a chronic financial deficit, making municipalities dependent on other governments—central and regional—in order to be able to provide services. Both France and Spain have been (slowly) decentralising, at least until the current economic crisis, which has de facto reduced the autonomy of all subnational governments in Spain (Colino and Del Pino 2014). The former decentralising trend has also affected the model and workings of democracy in these countries.

The fact that the president of the region, Nichi Vendola, is one of the left’s national leaders reinforces the importance of this orientation. Nevertheless, the overall impact of participation there is probably less clear than in Catalonia, Tuscany, Poitou-Charentes or Aragon. Although Andalusia has recently created a directorate general, at the time of our study it did not have a specific department or a regional law on citizen participation or a clearly identified coherent policy, although some sectorial laws included Chapter 2 34 participatory provisions and some provincial governments had developed more active policies in their territories.

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