Struggles over Expertise : Practices of Politicization and Depoliticization in Participatory Democracy

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Meriluoto , T M 2021 , ' Struggles over Expertise : Practices of Politicization and Depoliticization in Participatory Democracy ' , Democratic theory : an interdisciplinary journal , vol. 8 , no. 1 , pp. 1-22 . https://doi.org/10.3167/dt.2021.080102

Title: Struggles over Expertise : Practices of Politicization and Depoliticization in Participatory Democracy
Author: Meriluoto, Taina Maria
Contributor organization: Sociology
Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ)
Date: 2021-06-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Democratic theory : an interdisciplinary journal
ISSN: 2332-8894
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/dt.2021.080102
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333032
Abstract: There is growing concern among democracy scholars that participatory innovations pose a de-politicizing threat rather than an asset for democracy. This article tackles this concern by providing a more nuanced understanding of how politicization and de-politicization take shape in participatory initiatives. Based on ethnographic research on participatory projects with marginalized people who are invited to act as experiential experts, the article examines how actors limit and open up possibilities to participate. By focusing on struggles concerning the definition of expertise, the article identifies a threefold character of politicization as a practice within participatory innovations: 1) illuminating the boundaries that define the actors’ possibilities, 2) making a connection between these boundaries and specific value-bases, and 3) imagining an alternative normative basis for participation.There is growing concern among democracy scholars that participatory innovations pose a depoliticizing threat to democracy. This article tackles this concern by providing a more nuanced understanding of how politicization and depoliticization take shape in participatory initiatives. Based on ethnographic research on participatory projects with marginalized people who are invited to act as experiential experts, the article examines how actors limit and open up possibilities to participate. By focusing on struggles concerning the definition of expertise, the article identifies a threefold character of politicization as a practice within participatory innovations. It involves (1) illuminating the boundaries that define the actors' possibilities; (2) making a connection between these boundaries and specific value bases; and (3) imagining an alternative normative basis for participation.
Subject: citizen participation
depoliticization
experiential expertise
participatory democracy
politicization
public policy
PUBLIC-PARTICIPATION
POLICY
POLITICS
CITIZEN
KNOWLEDGE
AGONISM
5141 Sociology
5171 Political Science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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