Governing with the people

Governing with the people
  • Work

Dominique Lefrançois, Serge Wachter, Gouverner avec les habitants, Éditions Recherches, August 2021

Both representative and participatory democracy are in crisis today, and this particularly affects working-class neighbourhoods, where large social housing estates are concentrated. The involvement of residents in the policies that affect their housing and their living environment is, if not non-existent, at least very limited. Is such a lack of citizenship inevitable? No, because experiences of citizen mobilisation have been multiplying over the last few years, showing a growing awareness among residents of the issues at stake in the rehabilitation of their housing and public spaces in their neighbourhoods. At the same time, a participatory injunction, addressed to residents and users, is on the rise and is spreading to the various sectors of urban public action.
This book explores the merits and limitations of new instruments aimed at encouraging citizen participation in planning policies. Through an anthropological investigation, it also examines the barriers and possible means of improving the way in which the voice of citizens is taken into account in marginalized neighbourhoods. These reflections sketch out ways to implement new forms of local democracy that allow for governing with the inhabitants.

Publication: 30/08/2021