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CHAPTER 2

DRAFT
(words:2544)

2. DEBATES
AND
CONCEPTUAL UNDERPINNINGS (3000)
2.1 Unpacking the Concept of Public Participation (1500)

Citizen involvement in the policy-making process have been an international trend in recent
decades. Participation mechanism allows citizens total part in the design, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of public policy(Granier and Kudo, 2016). Since the landmark st
udy by Arnstein(1969), many scholars have been studying participatory mechanisms as well
as implementation in different scales and societies. Most studies show citizen involvement
may generate numerous positive outcomes, such as deepening democracy, improving the qu
ality of public service policy, social justice, and social inclusion (Blondiaux, 2007). Urban
planning theories have been developed further in the past decades, which include concepts
that have been adapted from a highly technocratic practice to respond to needs of citizens
(Healey, 1996). Meanwhile, it is critical to identify every problem from particular local
viewpoints, through which sufficient details and facts about the problem fields are able to be
gathered (Watson, 2003). These facts indicate that public involvement and citizen
participation are increasingly important in the urban planning field.

Citizen participation is the coherent concept of participatory democracy (Barber, 1984).


Almond (1987) defined citizen participation as an action of participation in the formulation,
adoption or implementation of urban policy. This definition broadens the categories of
"citizen", whose main participant can be politicians, government officials or ordinary
citizens. All citizens own equal opportunities participating in the entire processes in the
democratic political system and policy contents are the response to the consensus (Lin &
Wang, 1999). Citizens also intend to further influence policy-making through participation
(Huntington, Nelson, 1989). Meanwhile, citizen participation attempts to put democracy into
practice and the pursuit of public interest.

In order to realize a more efficient citizen participation, it is necessary to change the


traditional government-led methods and reconsider the relationship between government
agency and citizens (King Feltey & Susel, 1998; Chen, 2016). Its success highly depends on
the institutional framework that fully discloses information and that equal participatory
platforms are put in place. The use of ICTs, which are interactive, transparent and
democratic, are a key focus and gateway into participation in the urban policy in recent
years and is used as a substitute method. The following will discuss some of the most import
ant theories and its development related to citizen participation in urban domain.

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2.1.1 The ladder of citizen participation (Arnstein, 1969)

Sherry R. Arnstein proposed an influential typology article "A Ladder of Citizen


Participation" in 1969. She argued that citizen participation was valuable and proposed the
Ladder of Citizen Participation to scope participation level in terms of citizens influence
on certain policy making processes. She divided it into eight steps as follows:

Phase 1. Non-participation

1)Manipulation: This is the bottom of the rung and represents the lowest level of citizen
participation. Public policy is controlled by the government, the people do not have any
legalized means to participate in public affairs.

2) Therapy: This is the second floor of the cascade, the government in this class genuinely
take their decisions as flawless and without regard to the views of the people. In the event of
an error or damage to the interests of the people, the dispute will be resolved by way of
compensation.

Phase 2. Tokenism

3) Informing: Before the implementation of a policy, the government has to inform the
public about its content, but the public does not participate in the decision-making nor have
the opportunity to express themselves.

4) Consultation: The public have the opportunity to express their views, but does not
guarantee that the recommendations made by the people will be included in the government
decision-making.

5) Placation: Citizens can be partially included in the making of public policy. People can
fully express their views, but also requires the government to put people into the decision-
making, with the final governance plan to be approved by the government.

Phase 3. Citizen Power

6) Partnership: Citizen and government are equal in terms of power. Mutual co-governance
and shared responsibility.

7) Delegated power: The government authorized its public power to the civic groups to
operate public affairs.

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8) Citizen control: Public decision making entirely by citizens

2.1.2 Democratic Cube (Fung, 2006)

In 2006, Harvard University professor Fung published a paper entitled "Varieties of


Participation in Complex Governance" in the American Journal of Public Administration,
which proposed a theoretical framework for public participation in today's democratic
politics. The framework emphasizes three important dimensions to illustrate the diversity
and meaning of public participation, including: (1) who participated, (2) how to
communicate and make decisions, and(3) how to link discussion, policy and public action
together. In addition, the theoretical framework also explains the three important democratic
governance issues: legitimacy, effective governance and justice.

Fung (2006) argues that there is no model of direct participation in contemporary


democratic governance, but contemporary participation should include (1) large numbers;
(2) public participation which promotes diversity of purpose and value; (3) direct
participation not as a complete substitute for political representatives or experts, but
rather a supplement of the role. If there is no direct form of public participation in the
contemporary democratic context, then there must be a need to understand the feasible and
useful ways of practical participation (Fung, 2006).

Contemporary governance faces multifaceted challenges and requires a way to illustrate


citizen participation in policy and legislative aspects. Fung(2006) suggests a theory that can
be used to understand citizen participation on an institutional level which is named
Democracy Cube model. According to Fung(2006), there are three dimensions of the
democratic cube:

(A.1) The first dimension: The selection of participants. Fung(2006) argues that in contemporary
governance it is important to ask who is a legitimate participant and how the individual becomes a

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participant. According to the number and sorts of participants involved, Fung(2006) makes an
spectrum as shown below:

(A.2) The second dimension: communication and decision-making interaction. In this dimension,

the degree of interaction between participants in a public discussion or decision is explored.


Fung(2006) divided them into the following six types according to the degree of communication
from weak to strong.

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(A.3) The third dimension: the influence of authority and power. At the two ends of the spectrum,

one is the participant as the policy maker, and the other is that the participants have no expectation
that their participation has the slightest effect on the policy. By the influence of the authority of the
spectrum, It can be divided into the next five categories from weak to strong:

The three dimensions of the above-mentioned democratic cube can be presented as


figure(?). According to the position of public participation in each dimension, we can
see the appearance of today's public governance.

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2.1.3 Geographies of Urban Governance (Gupta et al, 2015)

Geographies of Urban Governance (Gupta et al, 2015) explore the theories in urban
governance. On the definition of participation, Gupta et al(2015) pointed participation in
urban governance involves many actors, including citizens and stakeholders which are
associated with an particular issue. There are many prepositions such as: people, community,
citizens, politics. The participation here is defined as to include civil stakeholders in policy
decision-making process such as implementation and budget allocation, and to provide with
many participation channels such as consultation and public hearing. According to Gupta et
al(2015), there are two streams in terms of participatory governance, which are namely,
instrumental school and transformative school. instrumental school focus on improving the
existing system; transformative school dealing with power structures, including deliberative
democracy and empowerment. transformative school's goal is to change the existing power
structure by strengthening the competitor's ability and making decisions more democratic
and more inclusive.

Arnstein ,
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2.2 Civic Technology and E-participation (1500)

In the process of democratization, it is important to find appropriate participatory methods.


Through appropriate methods and tools, participatory decision-making can empower the
public and the democracy itself (Tambouris et al, 2007).

As a result of technological advances, drastically reducing transaction and participation


costs, making direct participation of citizens in democracy society becomes viable. With the
increasing discussion on the development of information technology, relevant topics
including virtual democracy, tele-democracy, digital democracy, electronic democracy and
cyber-democracy are becoming popular. Website, e-community, e-voting and e-government
are utilized to assist the practice of the democratic intentions. Indeed, citizen participation is
the core concept among these discussions. It is proposed to develop a participatory network
through ICT to promote citizens' democratic participation in urban policy decisions (Sassen,
2015). According to the UN E-Government survey in 2013, the definition of E-participation
focuses on citizen to government (C2G) and government to citizen (G2C). The indicator
includes three parts, E- information, E-consultation and E-decision-making, in order to
measure the E-participation level in each country (UN, 2014). This classification is also

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compatible with the "information", "consultation" and "active participation" that the OECD
has put forward to strengthen the contacts between state and citizen. For example, using
ICTs to enhance the quality and quantity of citizens' participation in government decision-
making will be very helpful to the legitimacy, responsiveness and effectiveness of
democratic governance (Chen, 2009).

"The government has the responsibility to maintain public participation in public affairs,"
addressed by the United Nations E-government Survey(2014), which provides new
opportunities for government and public interaction. ICTs play a multi-faceted role in citizen
participation. On the one hand, it can enhance the convenience and popularity of citizen
participation. It overcomes psychological and social barriers, greatly reducing the costs of
participation. On the other hand, ICTs can only be beneficial to the powerful group rather
than the general public, resulting in enclave deliberation and inequality (Huang & Chen,
2004). Therefore, it is necessary to deliver multiple participatory platforms.

In the process of promoting democracy through ICTs, the role of citizens is considered as
policy shaper and participant (Chen, 2015) instead of the group being governed. Its
character has further transformed into resources and partners of urban governance (OECD,
2015). These trajectories of transformations can be better understood through path
dependent analysis

In recent years, governments around the world understand the importance of e-Participation
and the use of information and communication technology to engage more actively with the
public. How to better understand the scope of electronic participation, and to assess relevant
research programs and tools, have to be answered. Tambouris et al(2007) believe that the
rapid growth of number of electronic participation programs need to be reviewed critically.
Thus, Tambouris et al(2007) proposed an framework to assess the e-participation programs
and tools that European Commission(EC) co-financed.

The proposed framework depicted( )has democratic processes as its starting point. These
are construed broadly rather than narrowly. These processes include voting, campaigning,
campaign financing, public debate and discussion, civics education, and processes within
and between political parties, grassroots organizations, information intermediaries and
communication between policy makers and the public Participation or involvement of the
people.(Tambouris et al, 2007, pp 288-289) And there are many tools that have ben
implemented in such process, from applications, products, web blogs to more complex
consultancy platforms, argument visualization tools visualization tools and nature language
interfaces.

2.2.1 How to evaluate the degree of e-participation?

There are many different classification methods proposed to evaluate the participatory level
of e-participation. There are three degrees of participation according to OECD, namely,
information, consultation and active participation. Information is the one-way pipeline to

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provide different resources available to the public; consultation refers to a limited two-way
pipeline for the communication between citizens and government; actively participate is a
strengthened two-way pipeline, the public has more power in forming a policy (Tambouris
et al, 2007; OECD, ).

The Macintosh() proposes three different levels of participation: e-enabling, e-engaging a


nd empowerment. E-enabling means using digital devices to support those who usually do
not use the Internet. E-engaging means allowing deeper contributions from citizens in policy
issues. And empowerment is more concerned about the positive and two-way participation
mentioned by OECD. And Tambouris et al (2007) use the following five stages to describe
participation levels:

(1) e-informing: providing the public with information on the policy and the public network
for the one-way pipeline

(2) e-consulting: target for a limited two-way pipeline to collect public feedback and
alternatives

(3) e-related: working with the public on the Internet, ensuring that public concerns are
understood and considered through a process

(4) e-collaborating: The two-way communication between the enhanced public and the
government is necessary for the public to take an active part in the development of
alternative solutions and to find a more popular solution.

(5) e-empowering: the final decision to the public hands, the implementation of the decision
made by the public.

2.2.2 E-participation in Taiwan

Since1998,TaiwanhasbeguntopromoteanInternetbasedegovernment,andthegoalisto
achievefairparticipationopportunities.Ivotingisdevelopedundertheconceptoffair
participationopportunities.TheGovernmentpromotesWeb2.0applicationstoincrease
publicparticipationinrelevantpoliciesandservicesandtoenhancethetransparency,
accountability,participationandeffectivenessofgovernmentservicestobuildafair
informationsociety.Taiwanesegovernmenthopestomakegooduseofthecommunication
technology,establishawellcoordinatedanddiversifiedcollaborativegovernancemodel,w
hichpromotestheparticipationofthepeople,combinethegovernmentandtheprivate
informationcommunicationchannels,andcoordinatewiththepeoplebefore,duringand
afterthepolicyformulation.

Inthepast,publicopinionconsultationwasconductedmainlythroughpublicopinionpolls,
symposiums,publichearingsorsurvey.Inthedecisionmaking,itistheelectedleadersor
representativesformthepolicythroughlegitimateprocess.TheNationalDevelopment
Council(NDC)promotedtheegovernmentprogramin2012inordertomeettheOpen
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GovernmentAgenda(2015).Inlessthantwoyears,34ministriesintotal,havemadeatotal
of278Appsand396mobileversionwebsite.Thedevelopmentcostsmorethan250million,
however,theusagerateisstillpoor(ChinaTimes,2016.5.1).

Ivotingreferstothegovernmentagenciessetoptionsforspecificpublicpolicyissuesina
certainperiodoftime,andletthecitizenstoexpresstheirviewsandvoteviadigital
devices.Theconsequencewillbereferencedbythegovernmentasbasisfordecision
making.ThisisfirstproposedintheCitizen'sWhitePaper,democracy2.0:thepowerof
thecity,addressedbythecurrentMayorofTaipeiin2014.Itsisclaimedthatpubliccan
helpthemunicipalitytodeterminecertainpoliciesbyIvotingviathephoneorcomputer.In
otherwords,IfwedonotusetheresultsofIvotingasthefinaldecision,Ivotingisinfact,
simplyawaytoletthepublicexpresstheirviewsandallowingtheadministrativeofficeto
collectpublicopinioninamoreconvenientandfastmanner.Ivotingdiffersfromthe
previousindirectandcostlywaysofpublicparticipationmethods,sothattheviewsof
citizensmightbemoredirectandparticipatoryinpolicyplanning.

(Tambouris et al, 2007, pp 288-289)

Proceeding

dg.o '07 Proceedings of the 8th annual international conference on Digital government research:
bridging disciplines & domains

Pages 288-289

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA May 20 - 23, 2007

Digital Government Society of North America 2007

table of contents ISBN:1-59593-599-1

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