A Deliberate Common Sense. Revisiting a Participation in the Drafting Process of an ESEC Note on Consultation

Participatory Researchers and Actors: Dangerous Liaisons or Productive Collaborations?
By Mathieu Brugidou, Arthur Jobert

In this paper we draw some conclusions from our participation, as “experts” in the drafting of a collective opinion piece of the French Economic Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) on the links between stakeholder’s dialogue and economic development. We point out that the outcomes of such a drafting process can be seen as “common sense.” But we elaborate on the idea that this “common sense” can be viewed as the result of a process within the framework of a consensus-orientated institution such as the ESEC. It can also be considered as the result of a social consensus in French society about the usefulness and basic standards of stakeholders’ dialogue. We show that this “consensus” is the result of a negotiation in which managerial rhetoric practices are used to find points of agreement but also to delineate points of contention. This leads us to a conclusion on the political ambivalence of the outcomes of such a process.


  • The French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC)
  • stakeholder engagement
  • standards
  • linguistic acceptability
  • organized civil society
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