Participatory Democracy as a Structure for Opportunity and Strengthening of Sectoral Notability

Special Report: Participation and Public Action
The Case of Family Farmers in the Program for Sustainable Development of Rural Areas in the Brazilian Region of Aguas Emendadas
By Gilles Massardier, Éric Sabourin, Lauren Lécuyer, Mario L. de Avila

Through the example of family farmers’ participation in the Regional Program for Sustainable Development of Rural Areas (PDSTR), this article defends a scientific posture: open up the analysis of the participatory arenas by reintroducing them to the power relationships in policy-making. This research covers three political sociologies: the structures of political opportunity, the advocacy trajectories, and the repertoires of collective action of the participants, and policy analysis. It analyzes the institutionalization of a “hard core” of participants, characterized by their institutional advocacy and their transactional leadership, who format the policy projects from a technical and financial point of view. It also shows the constitution of an “advocacy coalition” that, in the end, defines the policy making and the contents of the PDSTR.


  • participations
  • notability
  • transactional leadership
  • opportunity structure
  • institutional militancy
  • coalition
Go to the article on