Resident Participation in an Era of Societal Self- Organisation: The Public Administrative Response in Tøyen
Keywords:Participatory democracy, Urban governance, Gentrification, Action groups, Co-decisionmaking
Participatory measures are widely acclaimed as a solution enabling public administrations to become more responsive to citizens. Research has nevertheless documented that, de- spite intentions, residents end up feeling manipulated rather than listened to in these processes. In this study, we performed an in-depth analysis of policy documents used for decision-making related to the area-based initiative in the district of Tøyen in Oslo, Nor- way. We also interviewed local politicians and representatives of residents and civil servants. Initial contracts clearly stated that residents were supposed to influence deci- sion-making in this area-based initiative. In the analysis we categorised the different participatory measures in accordance with Arnstein’s participation ladder to see if resi- dents were allowed to influence decision-making and if so how. The results show that they were not allowed to influence decision-making. This raises questions about the inherent dilemma of accountability in modern-day bureaucracy and the potential for responsiveness to citizens.
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Copyright (c) 2018 Kristin Reichborn-Kjennerud and Espen Ophaug
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