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The Call for Participation: A Vision Exempt from Inequality?
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Montréal | 2010 | p. 114–129
Yolande Pelchat
Corporate author: 
Nouvelles pratiques sociales
Europe and North America

Citizen participation, which is promoted by the New Public Management, conveys a high symbolic value. Citizen participation is generally associated with the consideration of others’ voices, recognition, emancipation, empowerment and well-being. In short, it carries the promise of a more just world with greater social solidarity and less hierarchic social relations. This paper proposes to leave aside this fashionable rhetoric, at least temporarily, and to search for what might have been left at its borders. This exploratory journey aims to reframe, within larger debates about democracy, the call for participation and its assumed or desired effects. The invitation to beware of losing, on the way, the radical nature of democracy, is issued.

Resource Type: 
Advocacy materials
Journal articles
Policy and strategy materials
Civic / Citizenship / Democracy
Social justice / Equity
Level of education: 
Higher education
Lifelong learning
Non-formal education


Participation citoyenne; Émancipation; Pouvoir d'agir; Solidarité; Démocratie