Participatory Instrumentation of Public Action: Reasoning and Effects. A Comparative Approach to Participatory Mechanisms Used in the Region of Poitou-Charentes (France).

Special Report: Participation and Public Action
By Alice Mazeaud

The participatory instrumentation of public policy: logics and effects. A comparative approach of the participatory devices implemented by the regional council of Poitou-Charentes.
By comparing three participatory devices implemented in separate sectors of regional policy in Poitou-Charentes (High schools’ participatory budget, water participative forum and citizens’ jury assessing transport policy), this article offers some prospects to organize the dialogue between the studies on public participation and the public policy analysis. Rather than trying to demonstrate the democratization of public policy which is a usual angle of research, this article analyses the logics and the effects of participatory procedures implementation. By crossing approaches and empirical data, we could lessen the importance given to the official goals to bring the logics of “implementing participation” to light, identify the proper effects of the participatory device, and then question the wider effects, more diffuse and indirect, of public participation in public policy.


  • policy tools
  • change
  • participatory democracy
  • policy making
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