Panels details > Panel 58

P58 - The publics of neighbourhood level participatory projects

PANEL Organizers
• Palonen Emilia (, University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies (Finland)
• Kuokkanen Kanerva (, University of Helsinki - Swedish School of Social Science (Finland)

The panel will address the publics of neighbourhood level participatory projects. In urban policies, the neighbourhood has to an increasing extent become the arena for the emergence and implementation of various projects, often with an emphasis on inhabitant participation and local democracy. Participation can take various forms and concentrate for instance on the empowerment of disadvantaged groups, the development of new models of participation or the local knowledge of the inhabitants on their neighbourhoods and/or as users, or co-producers of public services. Neighbourhood development has been intertwined with the shift to collaborative governance, the “participatory turn” and the “projectification” (Sjöblom et al. 2009) of public policies. A new group of professional actors implementing policies, called the “project class” (Kovachs & Kucerova 2009) or in the case of participatory projects, “professionals of participation” (Nonjon 2012) has emerged, leading to symbolic or elitist forms of participation or, on the other hand, as a way to create more participatory and deliberative or forms of democracy (Kuokkanen 2013, Nonjon 2012, Pinson 2009). These new participatory forms should also be scrutinised from the perspective of the public, the articulation of the locality, and the emergence of “the public”, or processes of naming of “the people” (c.f. Laclau 2005). For example, what are the ways make visible and contest the above-mentioned project elitism? Conflictual situations of course create publics (Massey 2005), but what about non-conflictual situations, such as those seeking merely to form best practices for participation or enhance democracy locally? We wish to discuss: forms of participation developed in neighbourhood-level participatory projects; actors responsible for the implementation the projects; participants and their roles; the implicit and explicit policy aims; discursive strategies and effects on micro and macro levels; locality; the impact of participatory projects on permanent institutions; and links between the public, participation and democracy.

Participation, projectification, democracy, local, community, publics, local public administration, local democracy.

Sciences Po Lille  B2.8

SESSION 1 : 10/07/2015 : 09:00-10:30
Chair: Kanerva Kuokkanen (, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Discussant: Emilia Palonen (, University of Helsinki (Finland)

When Local Governments do not Listen to Communities of Interest
Henry Flores (, Institute for Public Administration, Politics and Public Policy (IPAPP) (United States)

Backing into active citizenship: A study of negotiations of rural citizenship in a Nordic type welfare state
Patrik Cras (, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)

On speaking terms? Face to face contact and its effect on the course and outcome of a neighbourhood level participatory project
Christine Bleijenberg, Noelle Aarts, and Reint Jan Renes (, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, University of Amsterdam and Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Analysing neighbourhood-level participatory projects – the projectification, instrumentalisation and professionalisation of participation or the creation of democratic innovations?
Kanerva Kuokkanen (, University of Helsinki (Finland)

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