DIFFERENT MUNICIPALITY-CIVIL SOCIETY RELATIONSHIPS?

This part of our project focuses on the identification of potential democratizing effects of participatory processes in the interactions between civil society and administration. We study to what extent, how and under what circumstances, participatory devices transform the nature of the interactions between the state and civil society. These transformations may involve changes in the stakeholders themselves, both in the field of civil society and the administration.

The implementation of participatory processes may transform the rules that organize the political dynamics in the policy arenas concerned. We are interested in changes on civil society-state interactions that take place at a meso level, concerning the organizational configurations and practices as well as attitudes that are evident at this level. Here, we can distinguish three interrelated types of effects: civil society empowerment, greater democratic adaptability of the administration, and generation of patterns of synergic interaction between social and administration actors. Our research defines these effects in operational terms and proposes some possible explanatory mechanisms that connect them with participatory processes.

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