Participatory Democracy in Southern Europe



Participatory Democracy in Southern Europe. Causes, Characteristics and Consequences

Joan Font, Donatella Della Porta & Yves Sintomer (eds)

Rowman and Littlefield 2014 262 p. 22,95 £      

Using a highly original multi-method approach, this book examines a wide range of innovative institutional participatory processes across Spain, Italy and France.

Citizen participation is a central component of democratic governance. As participatory schemes have grown in number and gained in social legitimacy over recent years, the research community has analyzed the virtues of participatory policies from several points of view, but usually giving focus to the most successful and well-known grass-roots cases. This book examines a wider range of participatory interventions that have been created or legitimized by central governments, providing original exploration of institutional democratic participatory mechanisms. Looking at a huge variety of subnational examples across Italy, Spain and France, the book interrogates the rich findings of a substantial research project. The authors use quantitative and qualitative methods to compare why these cases of participatory mechanisms have emerged, how they function, and what cultural impact they’ve achieved. This allows highly original insights into why participatory mechanisms work in some places, but not others, and the sorts of choices that organizers of participatory processes have to consider when creating such policies.

Table of contents

Introduction, Joan Font, Donatella della Porta and Yves Sintomer

The National and Regional Contexts of Participatory Experiences, Yves Sintomer and Eloísa del Pino

The Causes of Local Participation, Joan Font, Dolores Sesma and Paloma Fontcuberta

Institutional Participatory Initiatives and Democratic Qualities, Donatella della Porta, Herbert Reiter and Pau Alarcón

Citizens and Participation, Joan Font, Carolina Galais, Magdalena Wojcieszak and Pau Alarcón

The Cultural Consequences of Engagement in Democratic Processes, María Jesús Funes, Julien Talpin and Mathias Rull

Conclusion, Joan Font, Donatella della Porta and Yves Sintomer

Appendix 1. Experience Databases: research protocols

Appendix 2. Municipalities and the Initiation of Participatory Processes: two databases

Appendix 3. Contextual Case Studies: research protocol and case selection

Appendix 4. Case Studies about Cultural Effects: data collection protocol

Appendix 5: Surveys used in the book