Participation and Governmentality

Special Report: Critique of Participation and Governmentality
Close Readings
By Guillaume Gourgues, Sandrine Rui, Sezin Topçu

A critical analysis of participatory democracy cannot be limited to a problematic separation between normative approaches and those that would be more reserved or distant vis-à-vis public engagement practices. The study of the diversity and transformations of critical positions that have a permanent influence on research into public participation and deliberation offers the opportunity to elaborate a more appropriate differentiation between simplistic perspectives and those that are more mindful of evaluations, the mobilization of forms, and the judgments of social actors who are rarely satisfied with participatory politics. We observe not only an increasing number of critical theoretical frameworks but also a more general wave of social and public criticism.


  • critical approaches
  • political participation
  • social movements
  • governmentality
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