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The deliberative turn in participation: challenges for deliberative governance. A case study on participatory budgeting

Open Panel

Abstract

Participation has undergone a communicative shift which has favoured the organisation of new participatory processes based on classic principles of deliberation theory. These experiments go beyond traditional protest: they include a communicative element with the aim of defining a public politics, which places them alongside models of deliberative governance. The present work sets out the characteristics of these new instruments (participatory budgeting) in order to find out the problems that are faced by deliberative governance initiatives. The conclusions tell us that the inequalities in participation are significant. Nevertheless, participatory budgeting enables most participants to make effective use of their opportunities for deliberation. From this standpoint, the challenge for deliberative governance does not seem to be the deliberative capabilities of individuals, but rather the design of participatory procedures and the participation of individuals. We may question whether the administration can guarantee impartial political spaces that are as inclusive as possible.