In the grey zone rask
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In the grey zone rask In the grey zone rask Presentation Transcript

  • IN THE GREY ZONE OF PARTICIPATION MIKKO RASK N AT I O N A L C O N S U M E R R E S E A R C H C E N T R E INUSE-seminar 8th of May 2012
  • BACKGROUND•  INUSE seminar 12th of December 2012: ”Influential participation: How technology assessment changes the world”•  User and citizen participation is often portrayed as inherently good, democratic and empowering (e.g. Fiorino 1990, Bellucci 2002): •  Good substantively: relevant wisdom is not limited to scientific specialists and public officials; participation provides essential information for decision making •  Democratic: citizens have the right (embodied in laws) to participate meaningfully in public decision-making and to be informed about the bases for government decisions •  Empowering and instrumental: participation supports actors’ agency and it can decrease conflict and increase acceptance of and trust in decisions made by public agencies•  In reality, however, it may happen that participation is not so useful (substantively), is undemocratic rather than democratic, and creates new obstacles for effective action rather than empowers agency. 2
  • RESEARCH QUESTIONS•  What are the broadblocks to effective and efficient participation?•  Are there different types of broadblocks to different types of participation?•  Could it be useful to distinguish between the bright, grey and dark zones of participation? •  Can we shed more light into the grey zone of participation? •  Can we get rid of the dark side of participation, and if so, how? 3
  • TWO TYPES OF PARTICIPATION: SPONTANEOUS VS. PLANNED  Social movements DeliberationOntology Motion ContemplationFocus Grievance IssueStrategy Contest authorities Inform authoritiesKnowledge base Experience ScienceImage Drama TalkParticipant relations Solidarity CitizenshipOrganization Spontaneous Planned Source: Rask, M. & Worthington, R. (forthcoming): Prospects of Deliberative Global Governance, Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B 1 (2012) 4
  • THE DYNAMICS OF SPONTANEOUS AND PLANNED PARTICIPATION • (1) uneven voice to stakeholders and reproduction of Remedies from civil society actors, who structural Problems? inequalities; can… •  (2) focus on• Democratic deficits behind-the-scenes and limited public • (1) relay information lobbying and Remedies from accountability and analysis to dissemination of planned governance agencies, flawed knowledge; deliberations • nationalistic conception of political space for •  (3) liabilities and co- demos and sites for marginal actors; optation by • (1) voices more equally to democratic •  (2) raise public government citizens and stakeholders; governance awareness of agencies; • (2) public processes, • state bureaucracies international laws and • (4) opaqueness of balanced information seldom consult their regulatory institutions; civic organizations’ • (3) clear rules for publics about • (3) fuel debate in and own activities; interaction and policies on global about global • (5) self-selected accountability; issues governance; leadership and • (4) High transparency; • (4) increase public limited public • (5) randomised or transparency; budgetary oversight; statistical representation; Problems with global • (5) increase •  (6) democratic • (6) real democratic governance democratic control and territorial spin-off processes replicable to structures monitoring of global compromised local contexts governance institutions and • (6) create spin-offs for Problems with social the democratization of movements territorial governance Source of information: Scholte, J. Civil society and democracy in global governance, Global Governance 8 (2002) 281-304. 5
  • IN THE GREY ZONE: PART I•  Inherent challenges with planned participationSource: Rask, M. (2008). Foresight—Balancing between Increasing Variety and ProductiveConvergence, Technological Forecasting and Social Change (2008), Vol 75 p. 1157–1175 6
  • BALANCING BETWEEN INCREASING REQUISITE VARIETY AND PRODUCTIVE CONVERGENCE•  A trade-off: the productivity of participation increases with heterogeneity up to a point where it becomes too difficult to deliberate and productivity is reduced. •  It is likely to be difficult to engage such actors, whose expertise or political influence is instrumental to productivity and implementation of the results. If engaged, they are apt to have a strong personal stake in the outcome of the foresight process, at the cost of displacing divergent perspectives. •  The ‘optimal’ balance between variety and convergence is contextually contingent•  Balancing strategies: •  (A) Secure a strong motivation among all participants. •  (B) High motivation is often linked to stakeholding that in some cases risks the creativity of participation, for which reason actions to ensure the creativity of participation are needed. •  (C) Emphasizing creativity can take place at the cost of reducing the instrumentality, which in turn can be counterbalanced by various means, including (C) mechanisms for consensus and priority setting, (D) increasing of process efficacy and (E) developing an orientation to implementation. •  (F) The prioritization function, increased efficacy and a strong orientation to implementation, however, can result in various kinds of biases, and undermine alternative perspectives and interests. Therefore, mechanisms for (F) validation and (G) balancing are needed. •  balance of representation •  co-nomination •  ‘status quo’ •  independence of the executive body •  freedom from vested interests •  balance through variety•  While a positive norm for balancing is difficult to derive, a less stringent negative norm can provide a tentative guideline (Renn 2005, p. 50): “It is essential to monitor these processes and make sure that particular interests do not dominate the deliberations.” 7
  • HOW THEY BALANCE INTERESTSConcept Balancing strategy Benefits CostsFunctionalist Expert perspectives Rational, systematic Narrow, prioritized inadequately reflect social realitiesNeoliberal Statistical Politically neutral, Simplistic, vulnerable representation; status descriptive to measurement quo errors, self-fulfillingDeliberative Relevant arguments Issue and context Rationalistic, included sensitive, negotiative vulnerable to strategizing, non- neutralAnthropological Randomly selected Common sense and Superficial, lay perspectives disinterested unpredictable, assessment irrationalEmancipatory Less priviledged Equality and fairness, Politically biased, groups empowered corrective quasi solutionsPostmodern All perspectives Open, transparent, Irrelevant, biased, equal inclusive sensational Source from which modified: Renn, O. (2008). Risk Governance. Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World. Earthscan, London and Sterling. 8
  • IN THE GREY ZONE: PART II•  Deliberation is an imprecise art: a myriad of judgement calls are an enduring feature participatory methods.•  Study and reflection surely can strengthen the basis for such judgements, but you’ll never get rid of them. 9
  • THE DARK ZONE OF PARTICIPATION: PART I•  The ”tyranny of participation”: •  illegitimate or unjust exercise of power; naivety with regard to the complexities of power•  Cooke and Kothari (2001) focus on participatory development within marginalized underpriviledged communities •  tyranny of decision making (existing legitimate decision processes overridden) •  tyranny of the group (group dynamics leads to participatory decisions that reinforce the intersts of the powerful) •  tyranny of method (participatory method is used at the expense of other productive methods) 10
  • THE DARK ZONE OF PARTICIPATION: PART II•  The ”tragedy of citizen participation” •  while participatory agencies seek to develop tools to help solve the legitimacy crises of governance, they themselves are driven into a functional crisis•  Despite welcoming rhetoric, real participation is hard to achieve in some or most situations•  Different types of broadblocks •  cognitive: diffuse understanding of the usability of deliberation as a component of policy making •  structural: inadequate infrastructures facilitating the translation of deliberations to effective public policy •  operational: inadequate resources and skills in deliberative bodies Rask, M. (forthcoming): The Tragedy of Citizen Deliberation – Two Cases of Participatory Technology Assessment, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 11
  • TWO CASE STUDIES 12
  • •  Global participatory process on climate change•  Objective: to give citizens possibility to define their positions on some of the issues and questions central to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009 (COP15)•  Organized in 38 countries in September 26, 2009•  Approximately 100 citizens in each event – 3800 globally•  The results communicated to COP15 negotiators•  Main coordinator: The Danish Board of Technology (DBT) 13
  • METHODOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS•  A hybrid based on well-tested citizen participation methods (Bedsted et al., 2011) •  voting conference and interview meeting: voting on choices •  citizen hearing: table brainstorm and meeting priority-setting recommendations •  consensus conference: principles of composition of the information materials •  focus groups: test of information materials and questions•  Same method cluster as citizen summits (AmericaSpeaks) and the Deliberative poll® (James Fishkin) •  procedure of citizen selection more elaborate than in citizen summit but less elaborate than in deliberative poll 14
  • •  CIVISTI gave citizens from 7 EU Member States an opportunity to define and communicate their visions of the future, and•  Transform these into relevant long-term STI issuesObjectives were to•  Produce a list of new and emerging issues for EU S&T•  Produce policy options of relevance to future FPs•  Base this on a novel process of citizen participation, supported by analytical capacity of experts and stakeholders 15
  • METHODOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS •  Participatory foresight provides for insight into the demand for future societal development •  by directly involving the citizens/costumers/users/ voters •  Participatory “demand- side” foresight •  the supply-side over- represented in other forms of foresight 16
  • THE PROBLEM•  Initial promises of the political relevance of the two exemplary projects were set high•  Evidence of their actual policy effects, however, is dismal•  The general pattern in the policy effects of large- scale DDPs can be characterized as: •  high learning outcomes •  low implementation outcomes •  moderate socio-political impacts 17
  • COGNITIVE LEVEL EXPLANATIONS•  The starting point •  The ’dominant shape’ of a participatory procedure was approved by the organizer, for which reason the role of external actors is in participating to the negotiation of the ’dominant meaning’ of that procedure (Meyer & Schuber, 2007)•  Some concepts to understand •  Path dependencies from organizational to cognitive level matters (North, 2005) •  Interpretative frames (Garud and Ahlstrom, 1997) •  Waiting games (Borup et al., 2006) 18
  • COGNITIVE ROADBLOCKS (RB)•  RB1: Attraction to conflicting narratives and big numbers •  different expectations by the practitioners, politicians, media•  RB2: Demand for technical expertise •  different expectations by the practitioners and policy makers•  RB3: Risk of ’politically incorrect’ opinions •  different expectations by the practitioners and key stakeholders 19
  • SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS•  The grey zone of participation is the judgemental area in the design of deliberations •  we can better understand the trade-offs but never get rid of them•  The ”tyranny of participation” is political misuse of participation •  we can anticipate misuses and consider alternatives to top down models of participation•  The ”tragedy of participation” turns high expectations of consequantiality to dysfunctionality •  different types of roadblocks have to be cleared to overcome the darkest zone of participation 20
  • THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! 21