Course Title: Governance, citizenship and participation in changing urban contexts
Dates: 01/02/2007-14/03/2007
Professor: Marisol Garcia (University of Barcelona, Spain), Yuri Kazepov (University of Urbino, Italy)

Course Summary:
This course addresses key issues in the changing political landscape of Urban Europe. What do new governance arrangement entail? Do new citizenship practices find a fertile soil in cities in Europe. What is the role of the urban dimension in the territorial re-organisation of policies. The lectures focus on how governance arrangements and citizenship practices are structured by the institutional frame within which they are embedded. and show that some urban contexts offer wider opportunity structures for advancing claims on rights. In contrast, other urban contexts are more conducive to co-operation which do not encourage citizens to voice their claims in order to participate in society as full members. Within urban and national contexts opportunity structures also change over time, in relation to the political profile of local, regional and national governments and according to the strength of civic societies and corporate groups. The city – and often the neighbourhood -- is the most immediate arena for participation, the opportunity structures for such participation need to be supported by regional and national structures and policies in order to be more than ad hoc interventions. For this reason, the current governance debate will be intersected with the territorial re-organisation of policies and the resulting complexities will be related to the multi-level arrangements which are emerging. Multi-level governance will be assessed critically, considering it a contested context for both collective action and policy making.

The objectives of the course are to provide students with:
a) a sound knowledge of the relevant questions of urban governance and its interplay with citizenship, scale and participation;
b) an overview of the main theoretical approaches and empirical evidences in urban governance, citizenship, scale and participation;
c) the ability to use the conceptual categories for addressing urban change and the role of the new actors;
d) the ability to disentangle the way in which actors interact, their power positions and the possible critical issues that might be involved.




Title of the Lecture

Abstract & Readings



M. Garcia (University of Barcelona, Spain)

Governance, citizenship and participation in changing urban contexts

This author presents the theoretical background against which the relation between citizenship and governance can be explored in European cities. The article revisits the link between the social and political dimensions of citizenship and the public sphere emphasising the participatory paradigm. Moreover, it examines some current citizenship and governance practices occurring in European cities and neighbourhoods. It argues that the practice of citizenship has been challenged in European cities not only by the globalising forces which have contributed to the increasing numbers of denizens, exploited immigrants and the poor, but also by the implicit changes in collective understanding of social justice. Finally it critically discusses the term ‘urban citizenship’ as capturing local participation of citizens in the pursuit of welfare, recognition and against neo-liberal policies. Instead the author proposes the term ‘Urban and regional forms of citizenship’ substantiating the continuous relevance of territorial citizenship in the context of multi-level governance.


Brenner, N (2004)  Urban governance and the production of new state spaces in western Europe, 1960-2000 in Review of International Political Economy 11:3, August, pp:447-488.

Beaumont, J (2003) Governance and popular involvement in local antipoverty strategies in the U.K. and in the Netherlands. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 5 (2/3), pp: 189-207.

*García, M (2006) Citizenship Practices and Urban Governance in European Cities, in Urban Studies, Vol.43: 4, April, pp:745-765.



Y.Kazepov (University of Urbino, Italy)

What role do contexts play in defining local welfare arrangements and new governance arrangements?

This lecture aims at addressing the importance of embedding local welfare arrangements and the relevant governance models emerging out of them in the wider contexts of regulatory frameworks within which cities and regions are placed. The coherence between welfare regimes (or systems) with the degrees of freedom (or differentiation) they allow and the governance models emerging in Europe will be addressed. In particular the principles implicit in the regulatory equilibria emerging and the way in which different regulatory settings filter them in the specific local contexts will be critically addressed.


Kazepov, Y. (2004) Cities of Europe: Changing Contexts, Local Arrangements and the Challenge to Social Cohesion, in Kazepov (ed.) pp. 3-42.

Bagnasco, A. and Le Galès, P. (2000) Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 1-32.



O. de Leonardis (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy)

Models of partnership in local governance: analytical tools for exploring changes in democracy

Research literature looking at different models of local governance focuses on differences in both modes of partnership and conditions for participation to the policy making and implementation, and raises questions about  changes in democracy. Three main variables are singled out: a) visibility (versus opacity) of decision making processes *; b) inclusion in (versus exclusion from) these processes of the citizens or stakeholders **; deliberation (versus negotiation) as the preferred way for establishing compromises between opposing interests ***.

The lecture discusses these research findings by looking at different institutional arrangements in the field of local social policies in Italy. Partnerships between local public authorities and private or civic welfare agencies are analysed, in order to a) find out  different organizational forms of actors and networks, and b) explore how these forms affect the organisation of democracy.


Ota de Leonardis and Lavinia Bifulco (2003), “Partnership and Participation: A 'Socratic" Dialogue", translated from "Partecipazione e partnership: una conversazione", in S. Arnofi, F. Karrer (ed.), Lo spazio europeo tra pianificazione e governance, Roma, Alinea.

Ota de Leonardis (2006), “Local Welfare and Democracy”, translated from "Welfare locale e democrazia", La Rivista delle Politiche Sociali, N. 1.

Suggested readings:

Raco, M. (2000), Assessing  community participation in local economic development - lessons for the new urban policy, in Political Geography, 19 (especially about the rise of a “private government”)

Geddes, M. (2000), Tackling Social Exclusion in the European Union? The Limits to the New Orthodoxy of Local Partnerhip, in  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24, 4, pp. 782-800 ( especially with regard to the place of welfare recipient and week interests in local governance)

Elster J., ed. ( 1998) Deliberative democracy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge ( for  basic conceptual tools on deliberative democracy) 



W. Salet (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

A critical appraisal of the lacking institutional dimension in governance discourse

The dominant discourses on governance are extremely productive in conceptualising frameworks of border crossing public action: Crossing the borders of distinctive systems of regulation, crossing the borders of public and private sectors, crossing the territorial scales of nested jurisdictions. As such, the governance discourse is responsive to the multiplied and trans scalar realities of social interaction in the information society. Most of the conceptual energy has been put in issues of organisation (coordination, regulation, negotiation), in order to enable public action as a form of co-production. Public action, however, cannot rest on perceptions of optimising organisation alone. Public action has two faces: ‘institution’ and ’organisation’. In governance discourses, the institutional dimension usually figures as negative reference, as the ossified remnant of a historical stage in the evolution of state, law and society. The author argues that rethinking the institutional change of legal and political norms in current practices of border crossing interaction might give more depth and richness to the dominant perceptions in governance discourse. It is necessary to re-establish the meaning of such institutional concepts as political representation, political transparency and political accountability, and the institutional richness of res publica, legal norms and legislative deliberation in the dynamic context of the current network society. By taking a critical institutional approach in governance discourse a new research agenda may unfold. 


Salet, W. (Forthcoming) The Myth of Immediacy.
Salet W. (2002) Evolving Institutions. An International Exploration into Planning and Law, Journal of Planning Education and Research 22:26-35





G. Torrisi

(University of Urbino, Italy)

For a socio-legal interpretation of multilevel governance in Europe


The processes of de-standardization and regionalization of policies are weakening the monopoly of national regulation and increasing that at European level, so that the local level is becoming increasingly important for it is producing diversified social configurations. In order to cope with all theses different trends, some new forms of institutional co-ordination and governance are needed. Scope of this lecture is use the teoretical instruments of legal sociology to try to better understand the social conflicts and pattern regulations of the different overlapping governance layers of legality.


Boaventura de Sousa Santos, ”Towards a New Common Sense”, Routledge, London, 1995, ch.2

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, "Law - A Map of Misreading: Toward a Postmodern Conception of Law." Journal of Law and Society 14 (1987): 129-299.


Suggested readings:

Le Galès, P. (2002), European Cities. Social Conflicts and Governance, Oxford, Oxford University Press



A. Scott (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Contemporary Governance: multi-level or ‘post-democratic’

Multi-level governance is the new EU mood music – “you can have too much government, but you can’t have too much governance.” (Gerry Stoker 2001). We will address the concept as normative and critical (cf. Émile Durkheim). In fact, ‘Post-democracy’ points to the paradox that multi-level governance becomes a popular policy term at a time of increased centralization. The term ‘post-democracy’ was (probably) first used by the Swedish sociologist Gøran Therborn, but has been taken up by Colin Crouch in Post-Democracy, 2004. The lecture addresses this new context as highly problematic for collective action.


- Palumbo, Antonino, Scott, Alan (2005): Bureaucracy, Open Access and Social Pluralism. Returning the Common to the Goose. In: du Gay, P. (ed.) The Values of Bureaucracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 267-293.

- Hirst, Paul (2002): Renewing Democracy through Associations. Political Quarterly 73 (4): 409-421.
- Brenner, Neil (2004): Urban Governance and the Production of New State Spaces in Western Europe, 1960-2000. Review of International Political Economy (11) 3: 447-488.

- Salet Willem and Scott Alan (2006): City-regionalism, identity, representation and post-democratic governance, PowerPoint presentation prepared for: Sub-national dilemmas in an age of multilevel governance, edited by Ian Gordon and Alan Harding, Liubljana;

- Scott Alan (2006): Urban politics and urban movements, PowerPoint presentation.



Patrick Le Galès

(Sciences Po, France)

Understanding Public Policy through its Instruments


Public policy instrumentation and its choice of tools and modes of operation are treated either as a kind of evidence (governing means making regulations, taxing, entering into contracts, communicating, etc.) or as if the questions it raises (the properties of instruments, justifications for choosing them, their applicability, etc.) are part of a rationality of methods without any autonomous meaning. This paper aims to explain the significance of a political sociology approach to public policy instruments in accounting for processes of public policy change: (1) public policy instrumentation is a major issue in public policy, since it reveals a (fairly explicit) theorization of the relationship between the governing and the governed: every instrument constitutes a condensed form of knowledge about social control and ways of exercising it; and (2) instruments at work are not neutral devices: they produce specific effects, independently of the objective pursued (the aims ascribed to them), which structure public policy according to their own logic.


- Lascoumes P. and Le Galès P. (2007), Introduction: Understanding Public Policy through its Instruments - From the Nature of Instruments to the Sociology of Public Policy Instrumentation, Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1-21.





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