The construction of “Conseils citoyens” in Amiens and Lille: The random and compulsory nature of audience-building

Special report—Citizens’ committees: A lot of fuss about nothing?
By Myriam Bachir

While audience-building is a central part of participation, its black box has rarely been opened. Born out of political entreaties, the “Conseils citoyens” are part of this logic of institutional audience-building. Fed by social science research on participation, which has highlighted its selective dimension, the “Conseils citoyens” seek to involve the “voiceless” by randomly selecting a group of laymen from amongst the population. However, in view of recruitment difficulties, audience-building for these “Conseils citoyens”, which should be but a first step, remains a work in progress, constantly chasing after its audience.

  • audience-building
  • public participation
  • random selection
  • uninitiated
  • working-class participation in politics
  • Conseils citoyens
  • Lille City (France)
  • Amiens City (France)
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