Reflecting on the Effects of Participation on Public Action Based on Its Unfamiliarities

Special Report: Participation and Public Action
By Alice Mazeaud, Marie-Hélène Sa Vilas Boas, Guy-El-Karim Berthomé

This article offers a critical review of the literature in political science, sociology, and economics/management that deals with the effects of participatory mechanisms on decision-making and public action. It emphasizes how the sequential approach, which is the prevailing approach to the analysis of the effects of participation to date, explains why it has been difficult to account for the influence of participation on public policies. Therefore, both a new perspective on public action and the systematic clarification of the type of analysis that is used (causal links tested, variables taken into account, specific contextual features); emerge as the necessary conditions for collectively rethinking the links between participation and public action.


  • participation
  • effect
  • public action
  • decision-making
  • sequential perspective
  • proceduralist frame
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