Papers for the Study Day. Summaries/1


First Session --- 9:30-11:30

4 parallel workshops

Workshop 1-1 : Effects for the individual of the public participation: the representations of the democracy

Discussants : Florence Faucher (CEE-Sciences Po) & Joëlle Zask (CEPERC, Université de Provence)

Laurent Bernhard et Marc Bühlmann

Introducing direct-democratic institutions remains very controversial. When it comes to assess the benefits and shortcomings of direct democracy, questions about the competence of citizens are of crucial importance. From an elitist point of view, citizens are not able to participate in complicated political decision making.  From a participatory point of view, however, direct democracy strengthens the citizens' self-confidence and lets them acquire the skills they need to participate in politics.  In our article, we propose to enrich this debate by means of an empirical analysis. We examine to what extent direct democracy increases the degree of political efficacy. The concept of political efficacy which has been elaborated by Campbell et al. (1954) refers to the citizens' beliefs to have an impact on their respective political environments. The empirical analysis examines Swiss municipalities and is based on a unique hierarchical data set, combining individual survey data with institutional and socio-structural macro data of selected municipalities. To study our research question, we make use of multilevel analyses. Our main result suggests that direct democracy leads citizens to feel more efficacious.

Benoît Feildel

Rationality is commonly considered as a superior standard for public debate, especially when its concerns urban and regional planning. So, attachment, commitment, or even passion, for some values, some places, are rejected from institutionalised debate, in the name of communicative rationality. This standard of rationality - even if its substantive definition is still tricky - leads us to discredit all other style of discussion that could come to the fore during the debate. Whereas communicative rationality stand out as the only root for decision, affects, emotions, and all the things people feel, are considered out of the debate. However, some authors, today agree on the fact that emotions, and other affective phenomena, that have been underestimated for a long time, have a place and a role to play in discussion about the way public policies are designed.

Guillaume Gourgues, Jessica Sainty

How study the potential effects of public participation on social request for more participation? Can the implementation of participatory settings convince the population of the cogency of this institutional participation? These questions have recently provoked a scientific debate, which opposes various works, based on opinion surveys and statistical methods. This communication proposes to enter this debate, in order to deal with the interest of the use of quantitative methodologies within the "real world" of the participation. We propose to exploit data coming from a survey dealing with the knowledge and the opinion of the French population on participatory democracy. Then, two central results emerge from our work: on the first hand, our panel of surveyed people has a weak knowledge of participatory devices, and on the second hand, those who know settings are not systematically in favor of participatory democracy. We conclude this survey by an interrogation on the relevance of these methodologies in the case of the institutional public participation.

Hélène Hatzfeld

My paper deals with the effects  participation has on the conceptions of democracy and on the transformations of political legitimacy.
Following Hannah Arendt, Bolstanski and Thévenot, legitimacy is understood here as a right recognized to an individual (or a group) to take action and to speak in the name of certain principles or values which may be controversed.
Claiming for legitimacies by ordinary people refers to other arguments than political representation and produces a shift from the general interest to the building of a common. Adressing precisely this question « In the name of what », this claim challenges the normative positions and questions what seems to be obvious. But it allows as well to construct legitimacy from a perspective which is not a dominating one, but the one of a shared and endorsed situation.
Those claims for ordinary legitimacies show how politics is being desinstitutionalized and how it is developing in social practices that « do not matter ».

Workshop 2-1 : Effects on the collective mobilizations: the building of collectives

Discussants : Marion Carrel (CeRIES, Univ. Lille III) & Sandrine Rui (Centre Émile Durkheim, Univ. Bordeaux II)

Mathieu Berger

Université Catholique de Louvain / CEMS-EHESS
Accomplishing the community: Ethnographic elements of community meetings in Los Angeles

Jérôme Boissonade

The public politics program we are going to discuss is not directly related to local democracy. It is a program to promote access to homeownership for social housing tenants organised by the council in the framework of a program to eradicate squalid housing in a Parisian working-class neighbourhood of which the co-owners created a cooperative management system.
Our unique aim enables us two-fold detachment. Co-owners that are drawn by lots to be Neighbourhood Advisers apply this traditional system, from a cooperative action developed from another public policy programme: access to social homeownership. The second standpoint questions the capacity side. Rather than consider the critical emancipation resulting from this public / cooperative mechanism as an acquired skill then owned by each player, we want to take into account their vulnerability. The particular relevance of the cooperative action described here is that it is crucial to link the supports that have been developed by public policies to the necessary emancipating finality.

Agnès Deboulet

If public policies are often referring to participation, yet their attempts to overcome the temptation for top down projects are not always successful. In old popular neighbourhoods as well as in large social-housing estates undergoing urban regeneration, the constant rhetorics of participation has paved the way for new citizen's expectations. Under certain conditions, they can be maintained over time and overcome a feeling of arbitrary as well as encourage the redevelopement of social resources. Thus, this paper examines in a first place the contradictory dimensions of the gap between citizen participatory demands and its practical organization.
Our presentation is also proposing to investigate the relations between mobilizations and institutionalized participatory process. It is thus considering some emblematic projects of urban regeneration and renewal where participation has followed a long lasting conflict. The shift from to a new participatory frame also creates tensions on the shared meaning of « just » and recognition. We will emphasize the various participatory anchorings allowing this change of regime in focusing on the tools, places and collective investments able to produce common values.

Tida Goudiaby

In Senegal, promoted by the recent decentralization process and orders for good democratic governance from the international donors, participatory democracy installs slowly in the public space. Causing on one hand a transformation of investment forms of this public space by citizens and also the development of active control mechanisms of participation by municipal authorities. Indeed, when citizens are organized collectively to record their commitments in a socio-political process and not just socio-cultural, local authorities also organize themselves to give them a less obvious access on areas of formal and institutional confrontation. But the commitment of citizens to participate more is on and their various forms of collective mobilization for institutionalize or trivialize the participation show this fact. The analyse of relationships systems between citizens and municipal institutions involved contributes both to illuminate the changes of political representations and political practices, and to redefine democracy in Senegal.

Workshop 3-1 : Effects on public action: sectorial transformations of the public action

Discussants : Dominique Bourg (Université de Lausanne) & Philippe Zittoun (LET, ENTPE Vaulx-en-Velin)

Mathieu Brugidou, Arthur Jobert

This case study presents the results of an observation in 2010 of the first public hearing (débat public) in France on an offshore wind park. This case offers an opportunity to highlight interactions between policy framing activities and participative design. Effects of this participative exercise are also presented. Impacts of this procedure can be seen through the “construction” of the publics of this project, as well as in evolutions of the policy framework. This is why this communication calls the research community to sustain and renew its interest for the French procedure of “débat public”.

Markku Lehtonen

SPRU, University of Sussex
Governance of nuclear energy, in particular radioactive waste management policy, is experiencing since more than a decade its own “participatory turn”. Taking as its starting point earlier analyses of citizen participation in radioactive waste management policy in Finland, France and United Kingdom, this article examines the dynamics that have prompted the nuclear industry and authorities in these three countries to adopt more participatory modes of governance. Key aspects in the evolution of participation in nuclear policymaking is first described and then placed within their broader context of general emergence of participation in other sectors in society, in order to identify the factors internal and external to the nuclear sector that have helped bring about the “participatory turn”. In Finland, external sources, notably changes in legislation, have been predominant, whereas the problems internal to the sector have played a more prominent role in France and the UK. Furthermore, the experts advocating and practicing participatory methods seem to have been the main protagonists of participation in Finland, while in the UK – and to a lesser extent in France – demand for participation has come primarily from actors within the nuclear sector. The strong confidence of Finns in state institutions and the poor credibility of NGOs help explain the weak demand for participation in Finland.

Alice Mazeaud

CEJEP, Université de La Rochelle
Useless participation rather than ineffective participation? Some hypothesis on the sectoral and territorial distribution of the local participatory experiences.
New empirical research has underlined the effects of the participatory procedures, nevertheless the feeling of limited effect is dominant. To explain it, an hypothesis can be that participation wouldn't be without effect, but without object ; that means limited to residual political issues. To test it, we propose to present an overview of the territorial and sectoral distribution of the participatory devices implemented at the local scale. This overview underlines that no sector (or scale) escape the participatory norm, but the experiences are unequallly distributed. By there, we'll propose some hypothesis, which are in fact empirical research tracks, in order to explain the different uses of participatory procedures.

Michèle Stanton-Jean, Denise Avard

Université de Montréal et Université McGill
Public engagement in human genetics: a look behind the smoke screen

Advances in genetics and genomics, facilitated by new sophisticated technologies, has unleashed a debate concerning the possibilities of knowing and using genetic information for public health purposes.  Mechanisms of public engagement have been proposed as strategies to guide this debate, and indeed, today a variety of public engagement policies have been implemented in the health sector. The presence of such policies begs wider questions: How is public participation conceptualised, who is the public being involved, at what time, for what purposes, and with what results? Using newborn screening (NBS) as a case study, this paper explores public engagement policies by reviewing national and regional policies published between 2000 and 2011 in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. The policy analysis highlighted the many different approaches to public participation that includes measures to educate, consult and empower publics depending on the given goals of the policies. Implications for public engagement will differ according to engaging the public in the clinical context, or engaging the public in the broader newborn screening policy planning context. Moreover, this analysis sheds light on some of the difficulties of engaging the public, and led us to some potential solutions to overcome these challenges.

Workshop 4-1 : Context and evaluation of public participation: the territorialization of the effects

Discussants : Mario Gauthier (Univ. Québec en Outaouais) & Pierre Lefébure (Centre Durkheim, IEP Bordeaux)

Valérie Deldrève

This communication questions the environmental public policy changes and more specifically the recognition process of the local users in creating protected areas. Indeed, the dialogue priority establishes the users commitments on behalf of natural, cultural and landscaped heritages. It learns also from conflicts which characterize the first generation national parks genesis (Law of 1960). The recognition of the rights and the indigenous knowledge and  their role in the natural environment conservation respond to concerns in terms of environmental efficiency and social justice. Nevertheless it also produces opposite effects, which were observed during the dialogue implemented to create the National park of Creeks, the first one metropolitan since the new law on the parks of 2006. At the close of this dialogue, the proposed charter was invalidated by the National Council for Nature Conservation. We showed besides that this project tended to legitimize forms of environmental inequalities (Deldrève, Deboudt, coord. 2011). In order to clarify these effects, we analyze here the dialogue observed in situ, in its dependent relationships with both the autonomous public sphere, structured for 20 years by the Creeks conservation process, and divided local power.

Pascal Tozzi, Nicolas D'Andréa et Didier Laugaa

The results, presented here, join the ANR research PAGODE (French acronym for Participation, Animation and Governance in Ecodistricts) concerning the place of the citizen's participation in the sustainable urban factory. Within the framework of this research, particular interest is given to the effects of such participation among inhabitants or future inhabitants of the Ecodistricts. This communication presents, at first, the place given to the citizen's participation in the various files proposed in the national competition : Ecodistricts launched in 2010 by the MEEDEM. Then, the effects of the participation are identified from the study of particular cases stemming from these various files. Various types of effects are observed (cognitive, behavioral, territorial, effects of inclusion and exclusion, of conflict, etc.) and give rise to a first draft typology taking into account the status of current research.

Mylène Chambon, Christophe Gibout et Irénée Zwarterook

(Iratxe Calvo, Hervé Flanquart, Séverine Frère, Anne-Peggy Hellequin, Antoine Le Blanc, Caroline Rufin-Soler)
TVES, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale

The metropolization area of Dunkirk is obviously concern by industrial risk. By the way, the City  and its suburbs along the seaside are among the most important industrial port zone in France within 13 sites that are classified as SEVESO and also the nuclear power station of Gravelines, the biggest in Europe. Closed to these industries, sometimes between them, there is also a great residential density.
After the AZF accident in Toulouse in 2001, the public law organizes this urbanization among the industrial areas and creates PPRT in order to keep human activities away from the risky industries. The PPRT are elaborated through a dialogue body called CLIC. In Dunkirk, the analysis of the CLIC put in evidence 2 realities:
First, the set of protagonists within the CLIC is too institutional to let real opportunities to local partners. Secondly, via the rein of inter-connected relations on the outside, local interests take the advantage upon the spirit of the law.