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Yves Sintomer Professor for political science, Paris 8 University (CNRS research center CRESPPA-CSU) Senior fellow, Institut universitaire de France Associated.

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Presentation on theme: "Yves Sintomer Professor for political science, Paris 8 University (CNRS research center CRESPPA-CSU) Senior fellow, Institut universitaire de France Associated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yves Sintomer Professor for political science, Paris 8 University (CNRS research center CRESPPA-CSU) Senior fellow, Institut universitaire de France Associated researcher, Sociology Institute, Neuchâtel University, and Marc Bloch Center Berlin Transformation of democracy and the challenges of citizen participation in Europe Workshop « How to Make Good Citizen Participation Relevant in European Regions », Land Baden-Württemberg/ Robert Bosch Stiftung/ European Institute for Public Participation, Stuttgart, 5-6/12/2012. Responsible : P. Nanz

2 Questions Can citizen participation bring something valuable for the future of European democracy? What kind of participatory experiments, especially at regional level? What are the main challenges of citizen participation? What are the scenarios for the future?

3 First part Citizen participation: what for?

4 After party-politics? XXth – XXIth century: few political innovations: party politics remains the hegemonic model within the institutional political system… But it loses its real functionality Signs of distrust: fall of party membership, relations to associations and NGOs, fall of turnout Between media-democracy and new forms of civic engagement

5 The decline of political trust Untersuchung der BAT-Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen, für die repräsentativ 2000 Bundesbürger ab 14 Jahren befragt wurden, November 2012 Denken Sie, dass Politiker zukünftige Herausforderungen lösen können? Ja Bundespolitiker10,4 % Landespolitiker8,6 % Lokal- und Gemeindepolitiker7,2 % Europapolitiker6,0 %

6 Flourishing of citizen participation experiments Exponential growth of participatory devices Various devices, various methodologies New professional skills, transfers, and the growth of an participatory (and deliberative) imperative The need for real benchmarking and international networks

7 Participation at regional level Some backwardness, a growing interest The regional level: incubator for local experiments and/or specific level for participatory experiments Various devices: open public debate, participatory budgeting, citizen juries (Planungszellen), regional agenda 21, user participation… Special need for benchmarking and networking

8 Two domains More deliberative representative democracy Development of direct and participatory democracy

9 Primaries as an example of participatory democracy? Two debates during French socialists primaries, September-October 2011

10 Personalization of the ballot against parties power Frankfurt/Main city, 2006

11 A more representative representation?

12 Selecting candidates by lot? French Greens choose their candidate using lottery in Metz (2012)

13 Regional public debate on the Great Paris French National Commission for Public Debate, April 2011

14 Electronic town meeting on landscape, Tuscany, 19/02/2010

15 High-schools participatory budgeting, Poitou-Charentes, France Ségolène Royals political will High school communities decide on 10 million euros Democracy and modernization of public service

16 Development of the initiative, the recall, the referendum

17 British Columbia (Canada) citizen Assembly for the reform of electoral law, selected by lot, 2004

18 New types of representatives? We are […] adding new elements to both representative and direct democracy. These […] add […] a new set of representatives, different from those we elect. As things stand now, both streams of decision-making are highly influenced – almost captured – by experts and special interests. The idea of deliberative democracy is essentially to import the public interest, as represented by random panels, as a muscular third force. The traditional representatives we elect are chosen by majority consensus, for an extended period, as professionals, with unlimited jurisdiction to act in our name. The new kinds we are talking about are chosen at random, for a short period, as ordinary citizens for specified and limited purposes Gordon Gibson, creator of British Columbias Citizen Assembly and councilor of the Prime Minister, 2005

19 Second part Challenges of citizen participation

20 The scale: beyond participation at local level? Citizen participation used to be considered mostly at local level Growing numbers of experiments beyond local level New facilitating technologies (selection by lot, Internet, electronic town meeting…)

21 Rationality: can citizen be wiser than experts? The effect of election is to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose James Madison Vs. the world has suffered more from its leaders than from the masses John Dewey

22 Rationality: can citizen be wiser than experts? The user knowledge A broader spectrum of social experiences A discussion on the common good without interest preferences Combining participatory or direct democracy with deliberative democracy

23 Participation: do citizens really want to participate? The passive citizen, a characteristic of modern democracy? Ambivalent but more positive findings Organized civil society and citizen selected by lot Citizens tend to participate when it does matter

24 Readiness for more political participation Bertelsmann Stiftung Umfrage Die Bereitschaft zu mehr politischer Beteiligung in Prozent JaNein Wünschen Sie sich mehr politische Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten für die Bürger? 81%16% Wären Sie bereit, sich über Wahlen hinaus an politischen Prozessen zu beteiligen? 60%39% Glauben Sie, dass die Politiker grundsätzlich mehr Mitbestimmung durch die Bürger wollen? 22%76%

25 Practices of political participation Form der BeteiligungHabe ich schon einmal gemacht oder käme für mich in Frage Kommt für mich nicht in Frage* Teilnahme an Wahlen94 %5 % Volksentscheide-Bürgerbegehren78 %21 % Teilnahme an einer Bürgerversammlung64 %36 % Mitgliedschaft in einem Interessenverband55 %44 % Online-Umfrage im Internet51 %48 % Beratungen über kommunalen Bürgerhaushalt47 %52 % Teilnahme an einer Demonstration47 %53 % Teilnahme an einem Bürgerforum / Zukunftswerkstatt 39 %60 % Mitgliedschaft in einer Bürgerinitiative34 %65 % Mitgliedschaft in einer Partei30 %69 %

26 Does it matter? A number of fake experiments Housing, building, painting (Patterson) Focusing on painting in order to avoid housing and building?

27 The political will Why would politicians give up their power? The most difficult challenge Sincere conviction: politics cannot be reduced to a zero-sum game Political strategy: against adversaries, countervailing the international market Historical antecedents: Bismarck and the beginning of the Welfare state

28 Conclusion: scenarios for the future

29 A convergence of several deep crisis Social and economic crisis of neoliberal capitalism Ecological crisis and unsustainability of our economic development Crisis of the postcolonial order: is it realistic and desirable to reproduce the Western political system everywhere? Crisis of sovereignty Social acceleration of changes (Internet, social networks…), when institutional politics remains the same Two specific political factors in Western Europe: -the end of mass parties (Volksparteien) -Subaltern groups tend to be less politically affiliated

30 4 nonrealistic scenarios The status quo: representative party democracy goes on with some slight changes (the Cameron-Aznar- Hollande-Steinbruck scenario) The coming back of big classical politics The long-run domination of technocracy (the Draghi- Monti scenario) The victory of the margins (the Toni Negri scenario)

31 4 (more) realistic scenarios Democratic politics becomes a performance without real policy effects (the Tacitus or post-democratic scenario) The authoritarian involution of democracy (the Hungarian/Russian scenario) The collapse (the Greek scenario) A new mixt constitution(the Icelandic scenario)

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