A state-funded counter-power? The Tables de Quartier, an experiment between institutional project and social movement

Special report—Citizens’ committees: A lot of fuss about nothing?
By Jérémy Louis

The “tables de quartier” are assemblies of organizations and citizens mobilized at the neighborhood level, that seek to create debate and collective action in order to confront local issues. They have existed in Quebec since the 1980’s. In France, they were first recommended in the “Bacqué-Mechmache” report on urban policy in 2013. Then, about ten “tables de quartier” were launched in 2014 as part of a three-year national experiment, carried out by the Fédération des Centres Sociaux et Socioculturels de France (the French Federation of Social and Sociocultural Centers) and the “Pas sans Nous” organization, and financed by the Government. This article will analyze the transition from the report to the experiment. Several adjustments have been made through negotiation between the organizations and the government, that result in a shrinking of the conflictual approach of the “tables de quartier,” and an enhancement of the partnership logic. These changes testify to the movement’s relative institutionalization.

  • participatory democracy
  • associations, social movement
  • counter-power
  • conflict
  • institutionalization
  • tables de quartier
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info