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Why or why not to participate? Some social and political considerations of public participation. Jávor, Benedek Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Dept . of Environmental Law Environmental Democracy Conference , Budapest, 19th, Oct . 2012. Jávor, B .: Why or why not to participate?.

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why or why not to participate some social and political considerations of public participation

Why or why not to participate?Some social and political considerations of public participation

Jávor, Benedek

Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Dept. of Environmental Law

Environmental Democracy Conference, Budapest, 19th, Oct. 2012

j vor b why or why not to participate
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

Public participation: "bottom-up” participatory processes over and beyond traditional “top-down” approaches to the exercise of power have globally drawn increasing interest in recent decades

Diverseareas: environmentalimpactassesment, local development, forestery, science and technology, publichealthcare, etc

Differentlevels: local, national, global

Participatoryrevolution (John Dryzek)

j vor b why or why not to participate1
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Hungary – a contradictorycase
  • Ourpreviousstudies:
  • Acceptablelegalenvironment (BUT: negativetrends)
  • Weak civil society
  • Resistancefromtheinstitutionalsize
  • Passivityamongcitizens
j vor b why or why not to participate2
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Presentsurvey:
  • 529 questionnaire
  • SamplingconductedinFebruary-April, 2011
  • Participation of universitystudents
  • Random selection of respondents (notrepresentativesample!)
  • Informativecross-section of Hungariansociety (age, residencetype, education, gender)
  • SPSS programmeused
  • Some demographic characteristics of the sample (Σ: 529)
j vor b why or why not to participate3
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • RESULTS
  • I. Trust and participation:
  • Lowlevel of trustininstitutionsofrepresentativedemocracy
  • HigherconfidenceinNGOs
j vor b why or why not to participate4
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

No linearcorrelation of trustininstitutions and support of publicparticipation!

j vor b why or why not to participate5
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Openness towards participatory processes is not uniquelygenerated by low levels of trust in the institutions of the state or by looking for alternatives to them;
  • Certainlevel of confidence is a precondition of participation;
  • Toostrongbeliefinofficialinstitutionsdecreasethesupport of participatoryprocesses;
  • Social participation is mostly considered beneficial by those who have a medium level of trust.
j vor b why or why not to participate6
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Clusters:
  • 3 groups:
  • great trust in the system of institutions and also active in social processes:
  • INTEGRATEDgroup (137)
  • low values over both segments: they do not trust the system of institutions and they also do not participate in social life
  • SCEPTICSgroup (330)
  • no trust in the system of institutions, but having an extended scope of social activities
  • AUTONOMOUSgroup (45)
j vor b why or why not to participate7
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • II. Agedistribution
  • Traditonalview:
  • elderlygenerations’ had „bad” socializationincommunistera;
  • youngergenerationsare more open-minded, and activeindemocraticactivities
j vor b why or why not to participate9
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

III. The impact of theplaceofresidence

Differentattitudes, differentactivities

Trustvested in local governments according to type of locality

j vor b why or why not to participate10
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

Correlation between participation in residential/community work and place of residence

j vor b why or why not to participate11
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

I

Correlation between participation in NGO protest and place of residence

j vor b why or why not to participate12
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • In smaller settlementspreference for
  • more direct,
  • more constructive solutions,
  • based on personal relationships
  • eg. residents’ forums, public hearings, participation in community work
  • In larger localitiesemphasison
  • more institutionalized,
  • impersonal forms
  • that tend to focus on differences of opinion and protests
  • eg. citizens\' protests, local referenda etc.
j vor b why or why not to participate13
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • IV. Fromintentiontoaction
  • Clusters: 3 groups
  • Those who desire action and also do engage in it:
  • REALIZERSgroup (80)
  • Thosewithlow values according to both variables:
  • INDIFFERENTS group (264)
  • Those who scaled high according to \'desired action’, but they participatein few activities:
  • POWERLESSgroup (185)
j vor b why or why not to participate14
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

Distribution of the three clusters according to age groups

j vor b why or why not to participate15
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

Distribution of the three clusters according to level of education

j vor b why or why not to participate16
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

Whatarethe main obstacles of activeparticipation?

j vor b why or why not to participate17
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?

V. Advantages and disadvantages

j vor b why or why not to participate19
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Conclusion:
  • Trustininstitution of representativedemocracy (government, parliament, municipality) is significantlylowerthanthat of theinstitutionsofparticipativedemocracy (NGOs)
  • Middlelevel of confidencesupportsthe most thewillingnesstoparticipateindecisonmaking
  • Thereare NOT „badly” socializedelderlygenerations: youngeragegroupsaremuch more sceptic and passiveineverydimension. A deepcrisis of democraticvalues!
j vor b why or why not to participate20
Jávor, B.: Why or why not to participate?
  • Conclusion:
  • Differencesinattitudes and supportedparticipatorymethodsbetweencitiesandsmallersettlements
  • Passivity, ignorance and the feeling of being powerless is widespreadall over thesociety
  • Primarybenefit of participationin a society of deepcrisisoftrust and confidence: strengtheningthecommunity
  • Fear of differenttypesofmanipulationinparticipatoryprocedures is common
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