Citizen participation, by now one of the main topics on the institutional agenda in many European countries, involves different fields of public action, mostly on a local level – social inclusion, urban renewal, development, the environment, health/social services, etc. It still remains, however, vague as a concept with a great variety of actors, procedures and powers involved in its practices. In this scenario, the present article asks two questions: what powers and what freedoms are involved in participation? How are they constructed and increased? The article then goes on to argue how voice is relevant for understanding the many stories of participation, referring to the classic concept of voice formulated by Albert Hirschman and the elaborations offered by Amartya Sen and Arjun Appadurai in their dialogue over capabilities and capacities.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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