Panels details > Panel 34

P34 - Local democracy: Citizens involvement in contested political decision making

PANEL Organizers
Josefina Syssner (josefina.syssner@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)
Johan Wanstrom (johan.wanstrom@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)

SUMMARY
Local governments in small communities all over Europe face challenges associated with demography. Birth deficits, and a selective net outward migration present local communities with a situation where the population is shrinking, ageing, and also losing in social capital. This situation is particularly apparent in rural areas, characterized by a remoteness from key markets. In these communities, local governments tend to seek broad consensus among all political parties around local growth agendas. Local or regional development coalitions as well as public-private partnerships for growth are thus formed to work out agendas for growth that are agreed to by the civil society and by local entrepreneurs. However, these local government do not only rally around growth and development. Studies from northern Europe, where local government by tradition is fairly strong, show that local governments have been compelled to make severe cuts in their budgets, and to prioritise between different societal needs. Schools in depopulated areas have been closed, homes for elder care have been centralised, and various aspects of local social services have been dismantled. In this panel, we seek to discuss if, to what extent and how decision makers communicate with citizens, at times of cost reduction and resource alignment. Though citizens seem to be often involved in discussions regarding local growth and development, they seem to be seldom invited to discussions on cuts in budgets and on the need of new priorities. Could any of the participatory methods used in spatial planning and development be used in wider discussions on the future of a shrinking society? How is the public given voice in times of cost reduction and resource alignment?

KEY WORDS
Local democracy, community, citizen, participation, shrinking communities, resource alignment

ROOM
Faculty, E2.15


SESSION 1 : 10/07/2015 : 09:00-10:30
Chair: Josefina Syssner (josefina.syssner@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)
Discussant: Johan Wanstrom (johan.wanstrom@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)

• Immigration policies, budgetary discipline and fiscal decentralization: The Italian case
Salvatore Villani (salvatore.villani@unina.it), University of Naples (Italy)
Ferrara Luigi (luigi.ferrara@unina.it), University of Naples (Italy)

• Innovative governance as hegemonic practice: dis-articulating / re-articulating the urban order through translation
Gualini Enrico (e.gualini@isr.tu-berlin.de), University of Technology (Germany)

SESSION 2 : 10/07/2015 : 11:00-12:30
Chair: Johan Wanstrom (johan.wanstrom@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)
Discussant: Josefina Syssner (josefina.syssner@liu.se), Centre for municipality studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)

• Innovation in local governance: towards an evolutionary understanding of the possibilities and limitations of change
Beunen Raoul (raoul.beunen@ou.nl), Open University (Netherlands)

Aalvanger Albert (albert.aalvanger@wur.nl), Wageningen University (Netherlands)
Duineveld Martijn (martijn.duineveld@wur.nl), Wageningen University (Netherlands)
Van Assche Kristof (vanasche@ualberta.ca), University of Alberta (Canada)

• Urban movements - urban (r)evolution. Do we need local activism?
Zietek Agnieszka (agnieszka_zietek@yahoo.pl), Maria Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin (Poland)

• Understanding political contestation at local levels: Disputed school closures in Swedish municipalities
Josefina Syssner (josefina.syssner@liu.se), Centre for Municipality Studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)

Johan Wanstrom (johan.wanstrom@liu.se), Centre for Municipality Studies, Linkoping University (Sweden)

Online user: 1