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Beyond the participatory process: Consequences in the interaction between civil society and local authorities

December 07, 2016 by Manuel Jiménez Sánchez, Patricia García Espín, José Luis Fernández Martínez

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This work focuses on the potential consequences of institutional participatory processes in the interaction between civil society and the local government. Our aim is to offer a proposal for the analysis and the operationalization of such effects in the relation of local authorities with the society: do public participatory processes produce any change as they promise from a normative point of view? First, we specified and cluster the potential changes (both structural and cultural) in the interaction and offer an analytical proposal for the analysis under three hypotheses (the hypothesis of the coral reef effect, the civil society empowerment and the shift power relations). Second, we show first (and partial) results of an ongoing research carried out in three Spanish regions and based on six case-studies where, through the use of semi-structured interviews with different actors, we observe actual patterns of change in the interaction between civil society and local authorities.