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Local participation in Spain: beyond associative democracy

AuthorsFont Fábregas, Joan
Acción Social
Participaciçon ciudadana
Issue Date2002
PublisherInstitut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials
CitationUniverdidad Autónoma de Valencia, Working papers (Institut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials (Barcelona, Catalunya));210
AbstractStrategic Plans, Citizen Juries, Participatory Budgets or Children Councils are some of the labels used to refer to processes that incorporate a certain component of citizen participation that have been taking place over the last few years. These processes have also become more common in Spanish local governments, especially since the nineties. The main aim of this chapter is to analyse what they mean and what they involve with respect to other formal mechanisms of participation that have been in operation in European cities for decades, and which were largely based on the role given to associations. We shall avoid here the justification of why it is necessary to open more forums to citizen participation in the design of public policies, a subject that we have already discussed in other papers (Font, 2001). Working therefore on the basis that this participation is necessary, the argument developed here refers to how these participatory processes work and who leads them. Specifically, we want to analyse a series of experiences which have in common the fact that they go beyond the instruments of associative democracy which most Spanish and European town councils have adopted for many years (Navarro, 1999). That is, here we shall study all those participation mechanisms involving some innovation with respect to the municipal consultative councils, the presence of which has become generalised in our large and medium-sized municipalities.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.recercat.net/bitstream/2072/1262/1/ICPS210.pdf
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