The More Participated, The Better? Effects of Participatory Democracy on Local Public Policies in Spain
A Talk by
Fabiola Mota Consejero
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The effects of local participatory processes have been increasingly an object of study, concurrently to their territorial extension and consolidation. Specifically, normative and empirical comparisons between public policies adopted by participatory mechanisms and other policies impervious to participation have been developed. Nevertheless, empirical research has focused on a specific mechanism (as the referendum) or on specific cases often exemplary (as the Participative Budgeting in Porto Alegre). This study set out a comparative research design and strategy, which allow us to systematically compare and explain public policies generated with some kind of citizen participation process at the local level in Spain. It pretends to determine to what extent the intensity of participatory processes entail a difference in public policies. The main research hypothesis sustains that participation affects the design and implementation of local public policies: the more participated (the higher degree of intensity of participation), the more plural, inclusive, responsive and accountable are the resulting policies.
Fabiola Mota Consejero is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She holds a Doctorate in Political Science and Sociology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a Diploma in Constitutional Law and Political Science from the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies. She previously taught Political Science at the Universidad de Murcia and was a pre-doctoral fellow at the ICPS (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), and a researcher in Politics at the Centre for Andalusian Studies. Her research areas of interest include the study of citizen participation, political and social attitudes, opinions and values, political representation, and the processes of institutional development and change with a special focus on the subnational and local levels of government. She has participated in several national and international R&D&I projects funded in competitive public tenders. She is currently the main co-researcher of the national project “From protest to proposition: Municipalities of change, urban policies and social movements”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness from 2016 until 2018 (MINECO: CSO2015-68314-P). Her most recent publications include the co-edited book Political power in Spain: MPs and citizens [in Spanish] published by the Centre of Sociological Research in 2016, and the co-authored article "The role of political parties in shaping citizens’ political preferences for the territorial organization of the State: the Spanish case" in the European Political Science Review in 2014.