Local councilors and public participation. The sociology of a category of elected officials, between functional specialization and positional subordination

Do elected officials like democracy?
By Rémi Lefebvre, Julien Talpin, Guillaume Petit

Municipal delegations for participatory democracy have become commonplace over the last two decades in France, but systematic research on this recent phenomenon is still lacking. This article, based on an overview and interviews, analyzes the social and political characteristics of these local councilors and the logic of their position, which proves to be little valued. These elected officials are both too specialized and poorly ranked in the local political hierarchy. Most of them do not show much appetite for the job, despite having identifiable predispositions. We describe four types of elected official: indifferent, managerial, militant, and opposing. Their evolution, both as a whole group and individually, constitutes a research question in itself.

  • participatory democracy
  • municipal council
  • elected officials
  • local councilors
  • typology
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info