Abstracts of 2015 Conference papers

Abstracts of the Conference

Practitioners ans Researchers on Public Participation:
Dangerous Liaisons and Fruitful Relations

Université Paris 8 – Saint-Denis, 29-30 January 2015

 

First day : Thursday, January 29, 2015

Introductory plenary

 
Chairman: Loïc Blondiaux (CESSP, Paris I)
Welcome: Bertrand Guillarme (Deputy Director of the Department of Political Science, Paris 8 University)
 
Marion Carrel & Catherine Neveu : State of the questions on relationships between practitioners and researchers on public participation
This conference is part of the activities carried on since its inception by the National research group on Participatory Democracy and Public Participation in Decision-Making, and part in the debates on public participation. With the first Congress in 2011 and three editions of Doctoral Days (2009, 2011, 2013) organized by the Group, its numerous other activities have until now mainly been directed towards the academic world; in this second stage of existence, it became necessary, and this was also the wish of the 'non-academic' partners of the Group, to reflect further on the relationship between different types of actors and the effects of their growing cooperations (whether imposed, sought, negotiated ...) in the understanding of participatory processes. In short, the very format of the Group, involving partners belonging to the world of research and to that of the "actors" and practitioners, forced us to take these issues head on.
 
Alice Mazeaud (Cejep, Univ. La Rochelle) & Magali Nonjon (Cherpa, Univ. Avignon), "The PhD on public participation. From research mapping to analysis of relations between researchers and practitioners"
 
Aline Guérin & Bertrand Paris (Institut de la concertation), “Crossing the perspectives of practitioners and researchers”, “presentation of practitioners-discussants' role
 

Workshop 1: Conflicts and compromises in the relationship between practitioners and researchers

  • Chairman : Patrice Duran (Ens Cachan)
  • Discussants : Agnès Deboulet (CRH-LAVUE, Paris 8)
  •                    Mehdi Hazgui (sociologue-consultant, Bègles)
Arnaud Bilande (Periferia), Cynthia Dal (USL-B) & Christine Schaut (USL-B et ULB), "The group "Sustainable Neighbourhood", a work with many voices / tracks"
This paper tells the story of a working group focusing on urban sustainable areas and more precisely about The Tivoli Project, located in Brussels. Without contractual basis, this group is the result of the coming together of researchers and a urban association that was engaged to organise and stimulate participation in this project. Although the main activities of this working group are sucessful, tensions between the researchers and the association appear when the actual conditions for participation are analysed. This paper focuses on these tensions not due to masochism or cyniscism but in order to demonstrate the difficulties in this kind of active collaboration. At the same their conditions of resolution are proposed.
 
Élodie Férezin (Certop-Écorce, Toulouse 3), Citizen participation as a vehicle for regional development: Comparative analysis of three participatory devices
Since 2001, the City of Agen was equipped with participative authorities on the scale of the district. A vision of the territory introduced during a first municipal mandate by the left which filled out, from 2008 by the arrival of a center- right team at the head of the city hall. Of 5 committees of district, the municipality established 23 councils of districts with more precise rules of functioning, an articulation council of district / municipal administration more codified and consequent financial means. The councils of district, as association law 1901, become then, for the elected representatives and the municipal services, some inescapable stakeholders since it’s question of putting in discussion the general interest of the district. The objective of this article consists at first in describing and in analyzing, through three examples, how built itself the participation of the local residents within the framework of projects different from town and country plannings. Afterward, it will be a question of identifying the way the council of district, in its relationships to the local residents contributes to the implementation of an autonomous civic dynamics.
 
Simona Mattia & Benjamin Tremblay (Centre Max Weber, Lyon 2), “The ‘educational cooperative', the institution, and the culture as a compromis-e/sion
What is happening when an institution hires an “educational cooperative” for its participative expertise to redefine both its cultural policy, its mediation methods and its internal management ? Our contribution aims at restoring collaboration between two organizations which, although they are driven by the same desire (and the same imperative) to produce “participatory”, do not share either its definition or its issues. For one, participatory should be a way to reform the common methods of cultural environment; for the other, it must lead to a political turmoil. From our scientific residence, we would like to describe the divisions and affinities between the two approaches that try to investigate together what "participate" means.
 
Christophe Perrey (InVS), “Analyzing the participatory processes in environmental health studies conducted by the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS): the example of nuclear waste storage site at Soulaines”
As part of its operations to assess the health impact of potentially risky sites for health, the environmental health department of InVS sets up consultation mechanisms mobilizing various stakeholders (residents/association, state agency, decision-makers, companies, elected officials). The anthropologist was asked to analyse retrospectively the relationships between those stakeholders in the context of the investigation on mortality and cancer incidence, carried at the Aube low and medium radioactive waste disposal centre in Soulaine.
From this example, the study aims to analyse the effects associated with, the posture of the anthropologist when working for a health agency. The method used a reflexive analysis of practice.
InVS membership facilitated access to the field even if it also created suspicion among some stakeholders. The remarks were partially conditioned by other expectations from the institution. Nevertheless, they were explicit both in the criticism of the consultation mechanisms (communication failure with long period of silence and bad restitution conditions) and in the recognition of their strengths (creation of a genuine space for exchanges, allowing questioning and expression of disagreement).
Although there exists porosity between academic researchers and practitioners/consultants working in the field of participation, the anthropologist working at InVS occupies an intermediate position. He develops finalized researchincluding recommendations, while placing it in the context of theoretical debates.
 
David Smadja (EEP, Univ Paris-Est-MLV), “Actor and observer of ethical participation in the hospital: outside eye and immersion in a participatory environment
This article intends to describe the process of a sociological inquiry relating to the interaction of a political scientist with participating actors within an ethical committee at a Hospital.  Playing the double role, actor embedded in a participatory design on one side, and social scientist dealing with a  participatory observation on the other, the political scientist stands in tension. He must focus on observation and sociological immersion whereas the actors (doctors, physicians and nurses among others) urge him to endorse the outsider’s approach. In addition, being an outsider leads him to contrasted effects: on one hand, his argumentative skills contribute to foster the medical approach and, on the other hand, his sociological interaction with the weak reveals « hidden transcripts » (Scott, 1998).
 

Workshop 2: Boundaries between militancy and research work (from the researchers' point of view)

  • Chairwoman : Marion Carrel (CeRIES Lille 3, CEMS-EHESS)
  • Discussants : Mathieu Brugidou (Grets-EDF et Pacte, Grenoble)
  •                    Sofia Aliamet (webmestre/rédactrice Eclectic Experience)
Alexandre Dugré & Dominique Morin (Univ. Laval, Québec), “Sociological origins of the association of citizen participation with scientific expertise in the development projects in Quebec
We offer an intellectual genesis of the pioneering enhancement of citizen participation in the “Bureau d’aménagement de l’est du Québec” (BAEQ) around the works of the sociologist Gérald Fortin. The ideal of development with citizen participation spread far beyond the circle of sociologists and get institutionalized in Quebec province only after BAEQ’s experience. The proposed genesis emphasizes the importance of sociology in the formation of this ideal, showing how Fortin is part of a lineage of sociologists from Laval University who questioned the exclusive authority of experts and decision makers in the definition of how communities should participate in development. Father Georges-Henri Lévesque founded the School of Social Sciences at Laval University to train and inspired intellectuals from the Catholic doctrine, with the courage to bring a more "broad, deep and high" secular perspective on the situation in Quebec for the purpose of restoring the spiritual unity of French Canadians around a realistic ideal for action. Following his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Jean-Charles Falardeau taught at Laval University positivist sociology advocating systematic studies of communities transformed by industrialization and urbanization needed to design reform of the institutions following the evolution of social structures, ways of life and mentalities. His student Gérald Fortin has meanwhile promoted by his positive and critical sociology the enhancement of the participation of scientists and people in more rational and democratic practices of development.
 
Fabrice Flipo & Federico Tarragoni (LSCP, Paris 7), “When the People is involved with nature: critical remarks on the concept of ‘climatic populism
The notion of « climatic populism » used by Stéphane Foucart to slander the demagogic and illusionist posture of the « sceptics » in climate sciences (e. g. Claude Allègre and Vincent Courtillot), inherit the same defects as his illustrious ancestor, populism in a political sense. Notion usually seized to disqualify some political movements, it turns out extremely normative: behind the qualification of « climatic populism », so praiseworthy are the intentions of departure of the user, is lying a certain vision of the « people », who is simply to inform or to mobilize politically on policies issues concerning climate. In other words, this qualification implies a certain vision of relationships between science and politics. It is this vision that this article wishes to question, on the basis of a double criticism, sociological and philosophic.
 
Fatimata Ly-Fall (Cedem, Sénégal, et Gspr, Ehess), “The issues of information and media literacy in a democracy The case of a participatory program involving a researcher in action
The analysis of the system of participation highlights a complex relationship between actors and researchers. Indeed, the boundary between the work of the actor and the one of the researcher, analyzer of a fact or a situation is often not obvious. This raises the question of the dual role of the researcher when she is a central actor in this system.
This contribution is part of this duality considered as contradictory because the description of the reality in action is more enchanting than the one observed in research that requires neutrality, a guarantee of an objective description of that reality.
This is also a reflection I have had after the implementation of a participatory program, my team and I have conducted in the urban village of Ouakam in Senegal, entitled "The Issues of Information and Media Literacy in a Democracy" which I initiated as part of the activities of the research-center I run.
 
Virginie Milliot (Lesc, Paris X), « Anthropologue impliquée… jusqu’où ? »
 
Céline Véniat (Cems, Ehess), “For a committed ethnography: Investigating on the access to rights of slum inhabitants
From an ethnographic survey on the access to the rights of people who are living in slums, this article aims to show the contribution of the posture of participating in ethnography of the access to the rights. Be engaged as a volunteer mediator in an association that helps slum dwellers can offer the possibility to experiment in situation the course to the common rights and the various constraints it involves. The choice to mobilize ethnography to describe access to rights of slum dwellers requires engaging in cognitive and affective relationship with respondents, to be present with his body and pay attention to interactions over a long period. Describe the experience of Romanian families living in slums and of the associations supporting them in order to put in place arrangements to facilitate their access to the law and make proposals to the actors involved on this issue is part of a pragmatist approach attributing to the investigation a target practice. Ethnography engaged as I set here is advocating a circulation between scientific knowledge and activist experience designing engagement as both a physical and sensory involvement of the researcher in the activity observed and also as the political aim of producing a knowledge mobilized in order to improve the situation of the respondents.

Workshop 3: New knowledge, transformed power relations? (1)

  • Chairman : Jean-Michel Fourniau (Dest, Ifsttar)
  • Discussants : Sezin Topçu (CEMS, EHESS)
  •                     Gaëlle Massé (coordinatrice SRPM, St-Sauveur-en-Puisaye)

Nicolas Benvegnu (Medialab, Science Po), « Qu’est-ce que réaliser une expérience en science sociale ? Le travail du sociologue à l’aune de la performation des publics de la participation »

Vincent Jacquet & Min Reuchamps (UCL, Louvain), “‘The G1000 "methodologists’ : between citizen activism and scientific research
The main objective of this paper is to propose a critical reflection of two political scientists involved in the organization of two deliberative mini-publics in Belgium: the G1000 and the G100. The first case was organized in 2011 at the country level and gathered more than 700 participants in the context of the federal government formation political crisis. The second case is inspired of the former but was organized at the local level, in the municipality of Grez-Doiceau, and gathered 50 participants. In the two cases, the authors of this contribution were members of the organization group. After a brief description of the two mini-publics, the paper offers insights into the tensions between the researcher’s position and the activist’s position. Firstly, the intensive presence of political scientists has influenced the G1000 in a more deliberative orientation. Secondly, we argue that political scientists are seen as genuine engineers by other members of the organization team and that their presence is utilized to legitimate the project. Finally, we analyze the particularity of the researcher’s position compared with the consultants’ position.
 
Clément Mabi & David Prothais (Costech, Univ. Compiègne), “Reaserchers ‘Embedded’ in e-democracy procedures. How to Build a research action posture ?
In the field of participative democracy many researchers in SHS are invested in the establishment of participative mechanisms, especially for being the vouch. Their positioning is complex and raises many questions, including epistemology: the researcher is responsible for the implementation of procedures, which he guaranteed the operation, while having primary mission to observe it. If this movement is common practice, it is fairly clear by the researchers, who are not yet able to articulate the axiological and epistemological stakes it induces. With this in mind, our contribution wishes to contribute to this movement and generate debate on the subject within the community. In this paper we want to go beyond the methodological question of the appointment of the researcher in the field, already worked by the SHS research to get back into the debate on the position of the researcher and its relationship to the land.

Héloïse Nez (Citeres, Univ. Tours), « Pour une sociologie publique de la participation. Apports du point de vue de la recherche »

 

Workshop 4: Strained relationship between commons and otherness

  • Chairman : Rémi Barbier (Gestion territoriale de l'eau et de l'environnement, ENGEES)
  • Discussants : Catherine Neveu (TRAM-IIAC, EHESS)
  •                    Alain Renk (Architecte, Collectif 7 Milliards d’Urbanistes, start-up UFO)
Patrick d’Aquino & Camille Richebourg (Green, Cirad), Public participation: the paradox of a dialogue with the Other
Participatory approaches, whatever their meaning, aim a dialogue between different worlds (experts/non-experts, between scientific disciplines, between local stakeholders…), but based on a dialogue frame derived from one of these worlds: the designer’s one. This communication addresses methodological and theoretical consequences of such an otherness. It is shown that participatory approaches carry their own view about what is the right aim for the dialogue and the right way to implement it. However, this situation does not drive the authors to conclude that participation is irrelevant. They highlight the needs to better mobilize a diversity of knowledge and dialogue frameworks. In other words, better learn to acknowledge different manners to perceive, analyze, and agree.
 
Fabienne Barataud & Florence Hellec (Sad-Aster), Alix Levain (SenS), Sandrine Petit (Cesear), Dominique Trévisan (Caartel) (team of the Inra project Agepeau), “Swim in troubled waters. Back on a research project dealing with the relationship between agriculture and water quality
This article takes a reflective look at our involvement as researchers in the project ‘Agriculture put to the test by water policies’. Four study territories came within this research project: the Vittel-Contrex impluvium; the catchment area of the commune of Harol in the Vosges; the lake of the river Sorme in the Saone-et-Loire; and the bay of Douarnenez in Finistere. A “need for science” is expressed within the water management authorities and brings these four territories closer. But it is presented in a variety of ways: specialized expertise; a request for participation in collective expertise and action; retrospective analysis with more or less distance to the actors. There is interest and sometimes there are questionings/ reserves/ doubts about the investigation in social sciences, which often remains on the margin of the other surveys made. The sciences do not have the same authority, just as the knowledge of consultancies and users of the area and farmers do not have the same legitimacy in the eyes of water managers. These managers expect surveys to raise uncertainties, but the research has also brought new questions. It is a discomfort experienced by the researcher, but at the same time the partnership with the water stakeholders enables new data to be accessed. The involvement of researchers in management situations has probably not resulted in modifying local power struggles, as these are simply moved on or are expressed in a different manner.
 
Nadine Souchard (Collège coopératif de Bretagne) & Yves Bonny (Eso, Univ. Rennes 2), “The cooperative action research, a contributory way for civil society productions?
This text presents the orientations of implied research that we have developed as sociologists in the context of different recent research projects. It first questions the research subjects and problems as well as the fields of inquiry that the researchers privilege in terms of participatory democracy with regard to the forms of citizen engagement that develop outside institutionalized participatory schemes.
It then introduces the forms of cooperative action-research that we have elaborated with the collectives of actors to which we associate ourselves, based on a double principle of equality of positions and differentiation of contributions. We also present our orientations and explorations with regard to our specific range of contributions. In conclusion, we explicit the meaning we give to the notion of implied sociology and indicate why it involves in our view a renewed epistemological inquiry.
 
Véronique Van Tilbeurgh (Eso, Univ. Rennes 2), “The environmental expertise in participatory debate: an asymmetric hybridization”
For several decades, many regulations expected to modify the impact of human activities on natural environment have been negotiated between public and private actors. In the debates resulting from these negotiations, the actors mobilize different types of expertise, either scientific, professional or users' ones. The aim of this communication is to analyze the way by which these various expertise hybridize with each other. The hypothesis is that this hybridization is driven by the cognitive framework of negotiations that builds asymmetries between the different expertises and directs possibilities of agreement.
Two types of negotiations, about the creation of a protected area and the construction of programs against algal proliferation, have been observed in Brittany. The cognitive framework of negotiations favours scientific expertise as legal and scientific frameworks share the same temporal references and as scientific knowledge is more performative in debates. The hybridization with the other expertises occurs through their translation in notions compatible with scientific knowledge. However, the scientific supervision can be by-passed by going out of negotiation.
 

Workshop 5: Between research and action, hybrid figures and border crossings

  • Chairwoman : Corinne Larrue (École d'urbanisme de Paris, Univ. Paris-Est)
  • Discussants : Marion Carrel (CeRIES Lille 3 et CEMS-EHESS)
  •                      Melinda More (Consultante développement durable, Toulouse)
Christine Audoux (Lise, Cnam), « Les identités doubles d’acteur-chercheur : quelle chance pour des recherches mises au défi de l’altérité ? »
 
Hélène Balazard (Cerema), “The alliance between researchers and community organizations: between scientific investigation and mobilization strategy
This communication looks back on a collaboration between researchers and activists in the case of a campaign led by a community organization. It concludes with an example of a more formalized type of cooperation between labor and research laboratories.
 
Aurélie Cardona (Écodéveloppement, Inra Avignon), « La “recherche participative” en agriculture sur les transitions agroécologiques : ambitions, pratiques et tensions »
 
Louise Dangy (équipe ACSPAVE de l'ENSV / Laboratoire Triangle, Lyon), “Analyzing and making public action. When the civil servant slips into the skin of the researcher, a salutary schizophrenia?”
This paper seeks to discuss the methodology of my PhD research project on the so-called “hormone beef dispute” within international institutions. Since the adoption, in 1981, of a European resolution prohibiting the use of hormones in food-producing animals, Europe and the United States have been struggling over all aspects relating to the use of growth promoters in animal husbandry. This controversy involves both the WTO and the Codex alimentarius, in charge of establishing international sanitary standards for food trade. The goal of my research work, which combines the socio-historical and ethnographic approaches, is to establish to what extent the international food trade institutions were shaped by the hormone beef dispute, so as to better understand how stakeholders perceive them. This work is being performed in specific conditions: while a government vet, I apply an ethnographic analysis to various materials (archives, interviews, observations). The cross-checking of information from diverse sources, and above all the official tasks I performed at different levels of the decision-making process, allowed me to overcome the difficulties associated with the study of this closed field. However, this unique position, which facilitates my research, also has consequences on its epistemology and conclusions, which leads to reflect on the significance of the results obtained. I consider that if a global ethnography of the international institutions concerned implies some theoretical choices, it also yields original results that need to be taken into account when exploring such entities.
 

Workshop 6: Consultant and researcher, an untenable position?

Guy-El-Karim Berthomé (AgroParisTech, Clermont), « Mind the gap »: between land use planning firms and their non contractual publics »

How does the staff of land use companies enter into discussion with territorial audiences? The protocols used by companies to conduct such dialogues are not easily traceable, but at least they’ve been claimed in different way from one firm to another: traditional model postponed or protocol specifically designed for consultation. Moreover differences are found in firm internally, and between business and research worlds too. Indeed, according to a widespread point of view among researchers, companies’ protocols should stumble over the natural unpredictability and immeasurability of stakeholders dialogue. Behind the implementation, is thus raised the issue of the firm’s dialogue strategy, and its efficiency.
To go beyond standard contributions such as Crilly, Zollo and Hansen (2012, Academy of Management Journal), it seems necessary to carry out a longitudinal study to point up the springs of these actions. Hence the idea that emerged is to work closely with firms, in order to overcome the fragmentation and lack of sharing interpretative keys.
 

Jean-Marc Dziedzicki (Connect, Essec) & Étienne Ballan (Arenes), « Portée et limites des hybridations entre recherche et pratique : opérationnaliser les sciences sociales pour faire progresser un maître d’ouvrage »

Arthur Jobert & Mathieu Brugidou (Grets, EDF), Producing a "common sense" on public consultation. Back on a participant observation of the drafting of a CESE report
In this paper we draw some conclusions from our participation, as “experts” to the drafting of a collective report of the French Economic Social and Environmental Council (CESE) on the links between stakeholders dialogue and economic development. We point out that the outcomes of such a drafting process can be seen as of “common sense”. But we elaborate on the idea that the report statements are "common" because they result from an institutional mechanism constantly favoring the consensus between members of the "organized civil society" represented by the CESE. These outcomes can also be seen as the result of a social consensus in the French society about the stakeholders dialogue usefulness and its basic standards. We show that this “consensus” is the result of a negotiation in which the managerial rhetoric is used to find points of agreement but also to delineate points of controversy. This leads us to a conclusion on the political ambivalence of the outcomes of such a process.
 
Guillaume Petit (CESSP, Paris I) & Judith Ferrando (Missions publiques), “The uses of reflexivity in the participatory enterprise. Practical, theoretical and market issues”
This paper discusses the concepts of reflexivity and reflective practitioner in the field of participatory democracy. Different uses of reflexivity can be categorized depending on actors, contexts, motives and effects. There are practice-, theory-, identity and market-oriented uses of reflexivity. Our purpose is mainly about practitioners-researchers who are service providers for contracting authorities that promote participatory devices. By focusing on these particular actors who have intermediary positions as spreading agents or influential outsiders, we assume to use a mirror both magnifying and distorting, but which is still a valuable indicator of the links between practice and research. From what we observe as practitioners, it seems that those forms of reflexivity extend to forms of claims of scientific legitimacy, adaptability and exteriority. Questions remain regarding the nature of these uses of reflexivity. They can be a narcissistic posture that aims at its own justification. They can be an analytical or normative posture that aims at dealing with the root issues (procedural, substantial and political) of participatory democracy.
 

Second day : Friday, January 30, 2015

Round Table: Working with researchers: why?

Discussion moderated by Catherine Neveu (TRAM-IIAC), with Marie-Hélène Bacqué (Lavue, Paris X), Judith Ferrando (Missions publiques), Mohamed Mechmache (AC-LeFeu), Frédéric Moreau (Federal Commissioner, Federation of sociocultural and community centers, Vendée) & Guillaume Coti (Directof of Community Center J2P (Paris 19e))

 

Workshop 7: New knowledge, transformed power relations? (2)

  • Chairwoman : Sandrine Rui (Centre Émile Durkheim, Bordeaux
  • Discussants : Mathieu Berger (CriDis, Université catholique de Louvain)
  •                    Hélène Bourgeois (Architecte démarche participative, Lyon)
Cécile Barnaud (Dynafor, Inra), Patrick D’Aquino (Green, Cirad), William’s Daré (Green, Cirad), Christine Fourage (Eso-carta, UCA), Raphaël Mathevet (Cefe, Montpellier)), “Participatory devices and power asymmetries: explicit and interrogate positionings
Many papers in the recent literature on participatory approaches emphasize the need to take better account of the complexity of the social contexts in which they are conducted, and to pay greater attention to power asymmetries among stakeholders. However, very few authors address the “how” question, that is, how to take into account power asymmetries when designing and implementing a participatory process. This question is frequently overlooked because it is not so much a matter of method as a matter of posture. The postures adopted by the designers of participatory processes are indeed driven by norms, values, or ideologies that are rarely made explicit. Do they claim a neutral posture regarding power asymmetries, at the risk of being accused of being naively manipulated by the most powerful stakeholders? Or do they adopt a nonneutral posture and decide to empower some particular stakeholders, at the risk of putting their legitimacy into question? In this paper, we present a tool that we recently developed,  a kind of test aimed at making explicit the postures adopted by designers of participatory approaches regarding power asymmetries. Fifty researchers and practitioners of participation took the test. The analysis of the results allowed us to identify five main types of postures among designers, five main ways to deal with power asymmetries corresponding to different ways to conceive the legitimacy of their intervention.
 
Frédérique Chlous (MNHN), “Participatory approach : coconstruction, negotiation, hybridization ? Participatory mapping in the Marquesas archipelago”
Environment and cultural heritage managementmobilise plenty of tools as  interactive theatre, participatory mapping, participatory SIG, role-playing and companion modelling approach. These follows a systemic approach et are most often interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral. The implementation of such research focusing on citizen participation raises serious concerns about the role of researchers, relations between partners and the effects of devices. The project involves research project PALIMMA about protection and management of cultural heritage relating to the sea (registred UNESCO's natural heritage and marine protected area creation in French Polynesia). Three issues are discussed further below. The first one concerns the cross-sectoral and participatory approach. The second concerns the useful data. In the last one, we want to discuss the hybrid-form approach and tools and techniques used.
 
Aurélie Couture (Pave, Ensa Bordeaux), “Conduct a research in immersion: feedback of a PhD student on public participation as a practitioner”
Research and action are becoming more and more connected in the field of public participation. Researchers are acting as witnesses, assessors and guarantors to consolidate processes or observe their dysfunctions, while many professionals are participating in research programs, surveys and publications to further scientific progress. If researchers are expected to be objective and impatial, their positioning raises questions : how to observe from a distance projects we are involved in ? How to remain independent while being invested in a service to another ? We will approach these questions from a unique perspective, that of a PhD student wearing two hats : researcher studying the practices of an intermunicipality through participative observation and also, project manager committed to action. We will be addressing certain methodological questions and elements of analysis that will be brought to light from this point of view.
 
Marie-Ève Desroches & Catherine Trudelle (UQAM, Montréal), “Feminist methodological approaches, a way to transform our relationship to research”
Feminist methodological approaches call for methods that reject the division between researchers and subjects observed, this way research is not done on, but with and for women. Within the framework of our research, we have opted for an interactive approach in order to study urban mobilization led by the Centre d’éducation et d’action des femmes de Montréal (CÉAF). Participant observation was the primary mode of data collection used to conduct this study on the extension of women's right to the city (Fenster, 2005). In this paper, we perform a critical feedback on the logic of cooperation and relations of power. We will address some characteristic elements of feminist methodologies and then expose two ethical issues that have guided us throughout our research process which are the act of speaking for others (Alcoff, 1992; Bilge, 2013) and insider or outsider position of the researchers (Dwyer and Buckle, 2009). Even though our methodology involves several risks related to the influence induced by the presence of the researcher in the observed activities, this approach has had many benefits for the achievement of our research, for the evolution of the partner organization and for the general advancement of knowledge.
 

Workshop 8 : Collaboration Experiences

  • Chairman : Luc Picot (Décider ensemble)
  • Discussant : Alice Mazeaud (CEJEP, Université de La Rochelle)
  •                      Sofia Aliamet (Webmestre CPDP, Marseille)
Ludivine Damay (USL-B) & Florence Delmotte (FNRS, Bruxelles), “To observe the making of the city and participate in it in Brussels. Fortunes and Misfortunes of detours by commitment”
This paper proposes a retrospective and reflexive glance at four experiences of participant observation of various participative devices regarding town planning and urban development in Brussels. These experiences have in common to gather certain types of actors: researchers, associative actors, politics, administration staff, town planners, etc. The reflexive glance more particularly concerns the relations between the researchers involved in and by these experiences and the other actors, especially the "professionals" and the "activists" of citizen’s participation. Thanks to a retrospective theorization based on the work of the sociologist Norbert Elias, we consider on the one hand the different configurations of actors and on the other hand the dialectic between involvement and detachment that lies behind our experiences. It seems indeed that the "detour via involvement", the overtaking of the traditionally more detached researcher's posture, was enabling, in certain conditions, a better understanding of the realities of the participation regarding town planning in Brussels. We also try to define, through the study of our four cases, the elements that can make the involvement of the researcher and the partnership between researchers and actors being, according to certain perspectives, more or less positively assessed.
 
Caroline Darroux & Clémence Emprin (labex ITEM, Univ. Grenoble), “Co-construction situation, identity and risk of asymmetry: return on a research collaboration device”
This paper analyses an ongoing collaboration between a multidisciplinary research team (Labex innovation and mountains territories) and professional from territorial institutions (the Morvan regional park, Bibracte) about a Great Sight-seeing site in the Morvan regional park. How can we work on participation in a participative way at a territorial scale? We describe and evaluate a central step in the collaborative process: the organization of a work meeting in may 2014. Dealing with hierarchization in the collective as a serious risk, our approach focuses: on the identities and the interests of participants, the organization of the discussions and the co-construction of the meeting ’s signification. The co-analyse is developed using back and forth’ interviews this participators. It demonstrates the importance of the collaboration to step back and think to professional’s daily work. Moreover, the discussions concentrate on the role of the Morvan regional park and its relationship to publics. Thus, the meeting is an opportunity to explicite the signification of the park house’s « saccage » by farmers as well as the genericities’ difficulties linked to the inhabitant participation. Finally, the professional commitment is grounded in an common conception: knowledge shaped by and for action.
 
Rémi Lefebvre & Martine Legris Revel (Ceraps, Lille 2), “The researchers – practitioner’s interactions to the Nord – Pas-de-Calais Regional Council. Between crossed legitimization and reflexivity
The academics may they besociologists or political scientists are regularly mobilised and enlisted by public authorities to be actively involved in public policiesof participative democracy or participatory designs which they implement. Sometimes co-producers of these forms of public action, their status is variable. They can publicly intervene to present the participative public action’s stakes, legitimize such or such design, bring an outside critical look, adopt guarantor's posture, participate in a steering committee, evaluate such policy or device, accompany students. ..A role of academic, specialist of the participative democracyseems to take shape. We return on these role plays and these new links between researchers and world of the participation (public authorities, professionals, elected representatives, technicians) from a crossed look on our collaboration with the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
 
Pascale Moity-Maizi (Umr Innovation, SupAgro) & Bérangère Storup (FSC), “Participatory approaches and collaborative commitments for agrobiodiversity. New postures, learning and uncertainties of a new wave of action-research projects for agro-ecological transition”
Outside laboratories experience is organized from a participatory action-research project, designed and run by a small group of researchers, members of associations and practitioners in agriculture in France, Maghreb and West Africa. The challenge of this project is to get to formalize and sustain a collaborative research approach for actors with a common goal: rehabilitation of crop biodiversity. The associations involved are not to be distinguished from other actors because some of their members are themselves researchers, farmers and other agricultural professionals, and they are all essentially linked by a common ambition, which is agro-ecological transition.
Interaction and confrontation of one and other commitments are realized through various exchange devices on the field. It is during these meetings that institutional logics reveal and confront themselves, and that cultural and political norms show the difficulty of engaging in such devices and co-produce this type of knowledge. It is then relevant to consider the positions of each other in these devices, to offer an analysis in terms of border crossings and to identify the risks, uncertainties and limits of the liabilities of some researchers commitments to build with farmers new ways of doing research, for recognition and uphold agroecology as a participatory science.
 

Workshop 9: Knowledge for action?

  • Chairman : Jean-Marc Callois (département Territoires, Irstéa)
  • Discussants : Rémi Lefevbre (Ceraps, Lille 2)
  •                    Antoine Luginbühl (coordonnateur Passeurs, Bordeaux)
Nathalie Dubus (UMR Espace et IGA Grenoble), Christine Voiron-Canicio, Karine Emsellem, Patricia Cicille (UMR Espace et Univ. Nice, Aix-Marseille et Avignon), Jean-Christophe Loubier (HES-SO Valais‐Wallis Sierre) et Daniel Bley (UMR Espace), “Geo‐governance: space is a mediator and spatial analysis is a communication medium between researchers and actors”
Since 2007, researchers of the UMR 7300 ESPACE develop the concept of geo‐governance that has the feature of proposing a spatial approach as a key element to mediation and facilitation of territorial governance.
This article presents the specificities of this concept by positioning it in the field of the related concepts and approaches integrating the participation of different actors in territorial projects. It emphasizes the specificities and the relevance of knowledge produced by spatial analysis along with methods that geographers allow to build, explain, represent and disseminate this knowledge during projects related to citizen’s living environment.
It shows that in this conceptual framework, space can be a mediator and spatial analysis a communication medium between researchers and actors by relying on two examples: a public city Web, general public oriented, with a first critical analysis of the contents of what could be a privileged tool for sharing information at a local level ; the experience of the Eco‐Valley National Interest Operation which presents the premise of an approach of geo‐governance initiated by some researchers of the group in relationship with institutional actors.

Lilian Gravière (Paris I), “The ambiguities of participation in social work”

Sylvain Lavelle (CETS, ICAM), About different modes of production of democracy”
The ambition of ‘democratizing democracy’ has been largely supported by the stream of technical and dialogical democracy. The interest of its models and devices is to oppose some social trends leading to confiscation of power and knowledge as entailed by the double delegation to representatives or experts. This new and original way linking participation and research has been certainly fruitful, but it does not exhaust the spectrum of democratization. It combines indeed some elements such as public debate and co-production of knowledge, dialogical procedures and cooperative research which are only one possible combination among many others. In addition, it carries about some confusion of domains or kinds due to the excessively broad scope attributed to the ‘technical’ and to the ‘dialogical’. There is no doubt in the double delegation and its alternatives a radical bias that encourages the cognitive and procedural tropism of the different models and devices. Actually the delegation de facto and de jure is multiple: delegation of ‘knowledge’ (epistemic), but also delegation of ‘will’ (ethical), of ‘production’ (technical) and of ‘creation’ (aesthetical). In response to the multiple delegations, there are plenty of modes of production of democracy that articulate various means (material and non-material) and various ends (including those of equality and liberty). The typology proposed here attempts to give an account of these different modes of production of democracy in widening the spectrum of democratization processes. One can thus consider a more extended set of models: (1) ‘Analytical’ models on the one hand that are centred on the process of democratization in a specific field (technical, but also epistemic, ethical, aesthetical); (2) ‘Synthetic’ models on the other hand that reflect the process of democratization at more generic level, ie across the various fields (polyarchical, heterarchical, pragmatic, methodical). The inquiry on the various modes of production of democracy suggests an alternative or at least a complementary path to that which serves as a starting point, especially on the issue of democratization of research, without claiming to be the arrival point. This path is part of the sequence and the horizon of a paradigm shift that accounts for the emergence of a generalised research, which is however only one aspect of a generalised democracy.
 
Sylvie Lardon (INRA & AgroParisTech, Clermont-Ferrand), Christophe Chauvin (EMGR, Irstéa), Philippe Chambon (AgroParisTech, Clermont-Ferrand), Armelle Caron (AgroParisTech, Clermont-Ferrand), Monique Bouchaud (Umr Métafort, Irstéa), Thomas Cordonnier (EMGR, Irstéa), Marc Valenzisi (FCBA Délégation territoriale Centre-Ouest), François Johanny (INRA, Umr Métafort)  Claire Planchat (Vous êtes d’ici) & Yorck Von Korff (Lisode), “Participation of researchers and actors in the production of knowledge for action. Back on a land gaming experience Integrated management of the forest of the Vercors
The research project FORGECO has developed tools for spatial representations and for animation of participatory workshops animation (territory game).These toolsinclude diagnostics, fact sheets and policy proposals developed interactively between researchers in bioscience and social researchers for group sessions (shared diagnosis, prospective approach and proposals for action), reporting of these group sessions, and the drafting of a guidelines paper to the territories wishing to engage in a process of territorial project. The animations were integrated into existing devices of territorial animation.
 

Workshop 10: Trajectories and Effects of cooperation between researchers and practitioners

Christophe Beurois (Médiation et environnement) & Loïc Blondiaux (CESSP, Paris I), « Chercheur embarqué et garantie de la concertation : un récit à deux voix sur une expérience “réussie” »
 
Céline Braillon (CGDD, Medde) & Jean-Michel Fourniau (Dest-Ifsttar), “Public participation: the guarantee is valid only if it is used”
The paper reports the experience of two guarantors appointed by the Council for Sustainable Development (C2D) of Bordeaux urban community (Cub) to accompany three juries (citizens, associations, community representatives) brought together in early 2012 to deliver an opinion about the criteria and the choice of the public transport service management. This experience gives rise to three dialogues between the guarantors, one speaking from its commitment to civic associations, the other as a researcher. The first dialogue focuses on the constitution, at their initiative, of a College of the guarantors producing notes and a collective final report in order to assert the role of guarantor of participation given by the C2D rather than playing the role initially expected by Cub of clerks of juries working separatly. This look worn by the guarantors on the participation device leads to a second dialog which questions the decision-making process in local authorities in relation to the recent development of independant guarantors' role, and the conditions of effectiveness of public participation, the mission entrusted to C2D by Cub. A final dialogue concerns the professionalization of public participation : the leading role for organizing the public consultation of tandems combining sponsors and consultants asks about the scope remaining for an independant guarantor.
 
Jeanne Cartillier (Grand Lyon) & Guillaume Gourgues (Pacte et Univ. Franche-Comté), “What to do with perennial instances of participation? Trajectory of a ‘reform coalition’ in the Lyons context
This paper deals with the collaboration between scholars and professionalized actors of public participation through the feedbacks of an “advocacy coalition” which has acting in the context of a French city (Lyon), between 2011 and 2014. This coalition tried to promote a reform of a perennial consultative committee, named the Conseil de Développement du Grand Lyon. While reconsidering the trajectory and the common work of this coalition, we wish to insist on a central issue: scholars and actors of public participation are not necessarily associated in order to develop the public participation “supply”, but can also start a “critical” analysis on participatory processes that they know very well and perceive the limits. The story of this specific, gradually built and overall informal collaboration partly highlights the “reflexive” dimension of the dialogue between scholars and actors.
 
Camille Devaux (Lab’Urba), "Can public participation be observed without participate ? The example of a research project on participatory habitat"
From a research on cohousing, the paper put into question the posture of a researcher who is observing a participatory process. It is based on the following hypothesis : difficulties encountered by the researcher observer are intensified by the “participative” function of the observed situation.
Actually, the ambition of exteriority of the researcher cannot be more than an ambition. His distance can’t be hidden with regard to the members’ community claim : to be considered as actors of an area from which they are usually excluded, housing production in our case. So, the observer cannot consider that he is invisible He has to pay close attention to messages from the observed community. This is a condition to preserve his presence. More than that, to be involved directly in the association’s activities became gradually an obligation for the research. Unfortunately, this involvement blocked our access to another scene of the research, in which institutional actors were involved.
The observer researcher shares with theater actors the same issues : he has to choose a controllable play, be able of improvisation in case of insufficient scenery, adapt his costume, be in perpetual interaction with others and play a role which will not harm him in his later relation to other actors and to the public.
 

Conclusive Round Table: New avenues for cooperation between practitioners and researchers on public participation

 
Discussion moderated by Jean-Michel Fourniau (director of the National research group on Participatory Democracy and Public Participation in Decision-Making (Gis Démocratie et Participation)), with
Partner of Gis Démocratie et Participation : Laurence Monnoyer-Smith (CNDP), Brigitte Fargevieille (EDF et CESE), Myriam Cau (Région Nord Pas-de-Calais), David Landier (RTE), Sandra Laugier (InSHS, CNRS)
Frédéric Moreau (National Federation of Community Centers) & Bénédicte Madelin (Pas sans nous !)