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Title: Common Patterns in Coping with Under-Representation in Participatory Processes: Evidence from a Mutual Learning Space for Portuguese Local Authorities (LAs)
Authors: Allegretti, Giovanni 
Keywords: Participatory processes; Inclusiveness; Community of practices; Portugal
Issue Date: 17-Jan-2022
Publisher: Routledge
Project: CA17135 
Serial title, monograph or event: Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
Abstract: Over the past decade, Portugal became one of the countries most committed to involving citizens in public decision-making, using ‘open door' approaches based on participants’ self-selection. To what extent are such practices concerned with inclusiveness? The article is built on the first stage of a two-fold collaborative research to map strategies shaped by Portuguese municipalities for coping with underrepresented actors in participatory processes. The exploratory analysis – funded by the Network of Participatory Municipalities of Portugal (RAP) - reveals common patterns: (1) pursuing inclusion of underrepresented actors is not a policy for fostering a high diversification of actors in spaces of social dialogue, but just a tool for caring of marginalised groups; (2) ‘co-design’ of inclusionary policies with the targeted social actors is not a common method; (3) there is limited coordination between different policy sectors of each local authority; (4) the majority of 58 participation web-portals are imagined as mere instrumental spaces for organising their democratic innovations, but under-estimate their potential as ‘mirrors’ of the community and of the different underrepresented groups targeted. The dialogue opened among RAP members on the two surveys reveals a potential for imagining and co-designing shared solutions through the next stages of the collaborative research.
Description: This article is based upon work from COST Action ‘Constitution-making and deliberative democracy’ (CA17135), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).
ISSN: 1351-1610
DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2021.1997573
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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