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The Politics of Participation in Cultural Policy Making

Authors
  • Lechelt, Elysia
  • Cunningham, Malaika
Type
Published Article
Journal
Conjunctions
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
Volume
7
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.7146/tjcp.v7i2.121813
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

RECENT ATTEMPTS BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ENGAGE IN PARTICIPATORY POLICY-MAKING HINT AT A WILLINGNESS FOR A MORE DEMOCRATICALLY INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO POLICY. HOWEVER, THERE IS OFTEN A GAP BETWEEN THE RHETORIC OF CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT AND THE ACTUAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE POLICY-MAKING INITIATIVES. THERE IS CONCERN THAT, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, THE TERMS ‘CO-PRODUCTION’ AND ‘PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY’ HAVE BEEN ADOPTED WHILST THE PARTICIPATORY NATURE OF POLICY-MAKING PROCEDURES HAS, IN REALITY, REMAINED VERY LIMITED. THIS ARTICLE AIMS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THESE BROADER DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES AROUND THE DEMOCRATIC NATURE OF ‘CO-PRODUCED’ POLICY PRACTICES. THIS ARTICLE CONSIDERS CALGARY’S RECENT ‘CO-PRODUCED’ CULTURAL PLAN AS A POTENTIAL EXAMPLE OF PARTICIPATORY POLICY-MAKING. USING A FRAMEWORK BASED ON KEY CONCEPTS WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC THEORY, INCLUDING WORKS BY ARNSTEIN (1969), RAWLS (1971) AND PATEMAN (1970, 2012), WE CONSIDER HOW THE STRATEGY ADOPTS PARTICIPATORY POLICY-MAKING PROCESSES, AND QUESTION HOW THE PLAN’S DEVELOPMENT PROCESS HAS SUCCEEDED AND FAILED IN CREATING MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION.

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