Participatory processes as democracy makers. Exploring effects, mechanisms and evidences in civil society

Patricia García-Espín, Manuel Jiménez Sánchez

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2017, Centro Estudios Politicos Constitucionales. All rights reserved. Do participatory processes produce democratic change as envisaged in normative accounts? Or, on the contrary, do they have negative effects or produce politically innocuous results, as some empirical research suggests? These are critical questions that remain largely unanswered. The potential effects associated with these processes seem boundless. This work seeks to clarify (part of) this vast forest of effects and articulate an analytical framework for empirical analysis. In addition to a literature review, the analytical framework proposed also rests on the discourse of academic scholars and public participation professionals. The resulting framework is developed around three research questions: Do participatory processes foster social capital? Do they empower social groups as political actors? Do they democratize patterns of interaction with political authorities? The paper addresses these questions from a theoretical point of view. It provides a classification of potential effects, mechanisms, and forms of evidence for thinking about the consequences of participatory processes in civil society and their interactions with the State.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)113-146
    JournalRevista de Estudios Politicos
    Issue number177
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


    • Civil society
    • Consequences of participation
    • Empowerment
    • Participatory democracy
    • Political autonomy
    • Political cooptation
    • Political participation
    • Social capital


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