Theses defended

Governação, cidadania e participação nas pequenas e médias cidades: estudo comparado entre cidades portuguesas e canadianas

Isabel Ferreira

Public Defence date
July 26, 2022
Doctoral Programme
Cities and Urban Cultures
Claudino Ferreira
The growing acceptance of models of participatory governance stems from the contemporary normalization of participation as a fundamental value and practice of active citizenship, as well as being one of the criteria used to evaluate the effectiveness of municipal governance and in the questioning and reinvention of representative democracies. The frequency, intensity and notoriety of participatory practices, initiatives and interactions in a growing number of cities constitute the starting points of this work, which seeks to analyze and problematize the processes of participatory governance by reference to a wide range of theoretical and analytical perspectives on the concepts of citizenship, participation and governance. This investigation, which takes an intensive and qualitative approach and is based on case studies, is in the form of a comparative study between two Portuguese and two Canadian cities. Research was based on the analysis of documentary sources and records of directly observed events that occurred in projects carried out by both citizens and municipalities. It also includes oral records of semi-structured interviews with 86 actors who intervened in the four cities, including citizens, technicians and politicians. The research revealed that the practices, logics and rationales underlying participatory municipal governance comprise a broad spectrum of possibilities and variable combinations between the actors involved, roles played, and resources and strategies mobilized, with a notable diversity of processes in terms of form, objectives and scope. Based on the analysis of the culture and practices of participation in each city, this thesis identifies and problematizes a set of dimensions and components that are central to the understanding of participatory processes. The study made it possible to map the critical aspects that delimit the effectiveness of participation, the participatory scope of the processes, the degree of institutionalization and transversality and, finally, the quality of citizenship generated. Based on the dimensions and components of participatory processes, it was possible to outline profiles of participation and models of participatory governance.

Keywords: Participatory municipal governance, citizenship, participation, participatory profiles, models of participatory governance