Communicative Capacity

Public Encounters in Participatory Theory and Practice

Koen P. R. Bartels

Communicative Capacity

Koen P. R. Bartels

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $111.00 ISBN: 9781447318507 Published October 2015 For sale in North and South America only
In many societies, participatory democracy has become an unshakable norm and widespread practice, with public professionals and citizens regularly encountering each other in participatory practice to address shared problems. But while the frequency, pace, and diversity of these public encounters has increased, communication in participatory practice remains a challenging, fragile, and demanding undertaking that often runs astray. This unique book integrates empirical, theoretical, and practical material to explore how citizens and public professionals communicate, why this is so difficult, and what could lead to more productive conversations. Drawing on fifty-nine timely, original interviews conducted with public professionals and citizens to make a thorough comparative analysis of cases in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Italy, it shows policy makers, practitioners, students, and academics the value of communicative capacity.
Contents
Introduction: Communicating in participatory practice
Public encounters in participatory democracy: toward communicative capacity
Studying narratives of participatory practice
Communicative patterns: what happens when public professionals and citizens meet
Work in progress: engaging with the situation
Struggling: discussing the substantive issues at hand
Making connections: building and maintaining relationships
Conclusion: communicative capacity in participatory theory and practice
Recommendations: communicative capacity in practice and policy
Review Quotes
John Forester, Cornell University
“Advancing the communicative planning debate, Bartels examines neighborhood case studies in Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Bologna to show how diverse habits and presumptions in public encounters shape powerful practices of dialogue, debate, and deliberation.”
Hendrik Wagenaar, University of Sheffield, UK
Hendrik Wagenaar, University of Sheffield, UK
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