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  1. Increasing Citizen Participation in Local Governance: Latin America’s Local Citizen Councils | ELLA
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  3. Strengthening Citizen Participation in Local Governance

These incorporated an element of decentralised cooperation, and the various Italian cities that started international cooperation activity at this time registered their initiatives under their framework Ianni, In other areas, it important to highlight that the social space of these committees was a mixed space on the borderline between being social and institutional, in line with similar experiments in the area of local development. In fact, committees of decentralised cooperation do not claim to represent established interests; in contrast they aim to establish common interests, to build shared plans.

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The CCDC in Rome, due to its remarkable durability, represents a unique case for studying these factors and the innovative strength of these new practices. Once declared the winner, he found himself committed to making it a reality, On 17 October , the Municipal Council debated the establishment of the Committee; on 18 March the Assembly of the CCDC, following a lengthy process of analysis and debate, approved the Regulations that govern its structure and activity Luzzatto, Placing the institution-social actor relationship inside the participative deliberative space, combined with the presence of second level actors associations as an almost exclusive expression of citizenship, represent the different aspects of the chosen organisational form.

Coordinators from the Round Tables and other Deputy Councillors, representing overseas communities, also participate but do not have the right to vote. The Round Tables include members of CCDC associations that have not been formally appointed, non-affiliated associations and other interested people. The Tables were established by theme 4 Peace now inactive , Fight against poverty, Interculture, Lasting development, Today, Commons, Decentralisation now inactive and represent a fluid area without set external limits, open to new additions Ianni, However, while the dynamic of the Round Tables is based on deliberation, meaning they are characterised by argument, equality in debate and the freedom to introduce new subjects Benhabib, , in the Assembly, and particularly the Commission, the opposite is true; they are based on strategic negotiation, i.

In these dynamics, the prompt verbalisation of work by the Tables, Assembly and Commission and its dissemination on the internet when CCDC creates its own website , will guarantee the transparency of debate and decision-making and encourage significant forms of collective learning. It is an area subject to fluctuating fortunes but, to date, resistant to being affected by them thanks to a weak yet constant force of integration.

Those with the greatest media impact the first Italy-Africa sessions, activity in Rwanda and Mozambique, G-local Forums in the first half of the s were initiatives directly assumed by the Mayor; others, including community programmes, were allocated to members of the governing board and local authorities 5. The most negative aspect is the fact that, by , the City Council still had neither a strategic nor annual programme Ianni, Social networks demonstrate equally significant strengths and weaknesses; they are open to the world but have fragile roots, and great problems in finding common ground and methods of coordination with one another Rhi Sausi, Coletti, Conato, Rufini, These characteristics of the association-related fabric of Rome are reflected in the world of the Committee, with internal differences in terms of aims, associated cultures, experiences, resources, leanings towards movements or more institutional positions, and the choice of international solidarity or social change Ianni, In , the Committee was formed by associations.

This participation, in more than one case, is purely formal and evolving towards withdrawal, an exit 6 ; this has its roots in the absence of incentives to become members of the Committee 7 particularly important in stronger associations , and the demands on time required by an active presence a limiting factor for less structured associations. Since the CCDC has addressed this issue by introducing successive changes to its Regulations lowering of the attendance quorum, option of delegation by Commission members, discontinuance if not present at three consecutive meetings of the Assembly , revealing a predominantly defensive action rather than a strategy.

In contrast, the City Council does not appear to have raised this matter. The fact that it is a space that is closed yet, at the same time, partly open, has helped the Committee to build networks of associations that last over time. The initial proposal, in March , was to create a space for reflection and progress capable of influencing and re-defining national cooperation policies. The decision to compare civic reality and the national scene, highlighting the actively diverging trends in each expansion in the former and withdrawal in the latter contributed to helping this process achieve greater weight and, thanks to the change of political party in the national government May , dialogue and support from the recently appointed Deputy Minister for International Cooperation.

The initiative therefore demonstrated a great capacity for creating an impact and, for three consecutive years , it encouraged unprecedented reflection and debate in Italy, with conferences and work groups that proved to have great rallying power. In numerous Forums were held in different Italian regions in preparation for the National Forum that revealed the breadth and strength of the mobilisation and influence achieved by the process Ianni, Its history illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of an experience of participative local government based on a particular theme, in this case development cooperation.

In turn, the associations, although reduced in number and with varying attendance, demonstrate a core capable of remaining active over time.

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At the same time, participation as the capacity to redefine and expand the public space is conditioned, as in other cases Avritzer , by the effectiveness of the results achieved. The withdrawal in recent years of the strongest associations with the greatest visibility and, in contrast, greater commitment from the weaker associations exemplifies how the results are not measured in the abstract, but rather are differentiated in relation to the characteristics and interests of the different actors.

In fact, while limitations in the capacity to agree on significant management issues lead the more structured organisations to withdraw, these same limits do not have an effect on the smaller associations that find reasons to maintain their presence, valuing the possibility of exchanging experiences and building networks. The capacity of the CCDC in Rome to develop actions with a national impact will guarantee its durability. The General states of cooperation initiative, and the links with initiatives by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, demonstrate the virtuous circle that can be generated.

They suggest that constructing democratic governance, in an increasingly globalised and multi-polar world, requires multi-level actions and focuses; the starting point of the process is not pre-established or decided, but reveals the links that this process manages to establish with the other levels.

Different studies highlight the negative effects of any imbalances that may exist in this regard. In Italy, for example, academics such as Bobbio demonstrate that in recent decades a fairly clear divergence separates the national level, where a vertical and controlled vision of democracy dominates, and the local level where, in contrast, there are numerous participative and deliberative practices, producing paralysing effects on the dynamics of each. The disconnection between local democratic innovations and the national level often transform these innovations into isolated niches and also, on some occasions, into functional practices for vertical and authoritative centralisation processes.

In other words, it requires taking steps towards co-development, to a win-win circular relationship between actors and different levels of economic growth, social well-being and political liberty. It suggests that participation and deliberation represent processes that interact with one another yet remain different, providing empirical confirmation of the main theories of deliberation first Habermas which highlight that deliberation is not necessarily identified with the decision-making moment while this, in contrast, represents the basic foundation of participation.

The dynamics that characterise the sub-areas that constitute the CCDC are representative in this respect. At a more general level, the case of the CCDC confirms the teachings related, in a large part, to democratic local governance practices carried out in recent years, i. It also confirms the decisive nature of both political and institutional frameworks and the culture that encourages social and political forces when constructing a democratic government. Appadurai A. Arnstein S. Avritzer L.


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Bauman Z. Una riflessione su centro e periferia , Laterza, Torino. Benhabib S. Bobbio L. Cobham A. Elster J. Gaventa J. Mohan eds. Habermas J. Mercato globale, nazioni e democrazia. Milano, Feltrinelli. Heller P. Hocking B. Ianni V.


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Kaldor M. Luzzatto P. Milanovic B. Mouffe Ch. Rhi Sausi J. Rhodes R. Rosenau J. Administrative Contact. Barbara Hogenboom Dr. Sort alphabetically. Sort by EU Contribution. Expand all. Issue 51, April An EU team has probed the complex interactions of human and ecological issues in Latin America. The study supplied stakeholders with information necessary to assess and modify the region's environmental governance. Latin America and the Caribbean, environmental governance, natural resources. Author s : Ospina Peralta, P. Author s : van Teijlingen, K. Permanent ID: doi Author s : Barkin, David,Fuente, Mario.

Author s : Baud, M. Last update: 4 September Record number: English EN. English en. Deutsch de. No suggestions found. Sign in. Results Packs. About us. Fact Sheet. Result in Brief. Objective The central objective of this project is to understand how environmental governance is shaped in Latin America and the Caribbean LAC and to develop a new analytical framework for environmental governance in the region. The project will focus on both formal and informal practices of management around renewable and non-renewable natural resources, how they are perceived, contested and reshaped in the context of rapid and complex social, political, economic and environmental changes at local, national, and global levels.

In order to do so, the concept of environmental governance provides a comprehensive approach linking theory and practice. Latin American and Caribbean countries have come to occupy a key position in the global debate on environmental governance, and the climate crisis has further stressed the international importance of the region. This project will focus on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable distribution of benefits in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in LAC.

The project will use multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar methods, including stakeholders in all the project phases to discuss and compare contexts and outcomes in different LAC regions, and to develop innovative tools for learning processes and communicating its results. Topic s SSH Activity type Higher or Secondary Education Establishments. Website Contact the organisation. Administrative Contact Barbara Hogenboom Dr. Project website. Status Closed project. Start date 1 March End date 28 February Blurring the lines: man meets machine.

Environmental governance in Latin America An EU team has probed the complex interactions of human and ecological issues in Latin America. Latin American and Caribbean LAC countries have become important to debates about global environmental issues. Simultaneously, the region's social and environmental problems have led to further debates about developmental models, democratic decision making and human-nature relations. The study considered obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems able to foster economic development while also reducing poverty and regional environmental degradation.

The investigation covered nine main themes. Researchers analysed recent initiatives and explored options for institutional innovation on the subject of natural resource use. The team considered formal and informal arrangements for natural resource use, including social perception and implementation. The project met its objectives of producing the scientific knowledge that regional stakeholders need to evaluate the environmental management situation and to implement alternatives.

The studies outlined progress and problems to the theme subject, including new discourses on nature-society relations and local community actions. Other topics included new actions for environmental protection and redistributive reforms based on natural endowments. ENGOV also addressed various topics of concern, including three particular challenges: promoting democracy, fostering food and land security, and the need to protect ecological integrity.

Results include numerous case studies and synthesising analyses, including around peer-reviewed papers. Other publications include working papers, articles and books. The project's main output was a book on Latin American environmental governance, published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Project results were widely disseminated among relevant stakeholders via public meetings, opinion articles, policy briefs, newsletters and online training courses. Other dissemination activities included the project website and a special collection on the project's topic in an online library reading room.

The work will help affected countries work together, simultaneously addressing environmental and economic problems. Keywords Latin America and the Caribbean, environmental governance, natural resources. Its research focused on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable distribution of benefits in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean LAC.

ENGOV had nine research themes: Historicising unequal resource distribution; Shifting elites and institutions in environmental governance; Strategic actors and responsible consumption in the mining sector; Building and exchanging knowledges on natural resources; Analysing poverty and sustainable development; Resource extraction conflicts compared; Local solutions towards environmental justice; Mitigation and adaptation to climate change; and Crossing boundaries in environmental governance. The concept of environmental governance provides a comprehensive approach linking theory and practice.

The research focused on formal and informal arrangements of natural resource use, and how they are perceived, contested and reshaped in the context of rapid social, political, economic and environmental changes at local, national, and global levels. The project used multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar methods, and compared contexts and outcomes in different LAC regions, while including stakeholders in various phases of knowledge production. Research results have been published in numerous scientific working papers, articles and books.

ENGOV results have also been widely disseminated among relevant user groups by means of public meetings, opinion articles, policy briefs virtual courses and newsletters. Its research explored the interplay between different forms of politics and other social interactions — from everyday life practices to collective actions, and formal politics — at different scales.

In Latin American and Caribbean countries, environmental protection is clearly no longer seen as a luxury of the industrialised countries. This development is of global relevance. The region holds approximately one quarter of the remaining forest cover and half of the tropical rain forests in the world. In addition, LAC is an internationally important source of minerals as metals and oil. However, LAC countries have not been able to use and exploit these resources in a sustainable, productive and equitable way.

Furthermore, improving environmental governance in LAC is essential for diminishing global ecological, social and economic risks that can have a strong impact on Europe too. Fortunately, Europe and LAC are increasingly cooperating in climate change policies e. Environmental governance in LAC has gone through major transformations in the last decades. From the mids onwards, several countries turned from centralised, state-based institutional arrangements, to self-governance approaches with an emphasis on privatisation and political decentralisation of natural resource management, with higher levels of civil society participation.

More recently, political changes at different levels have strongly influenced environmental governance in the region. At the national level, over the past few years various post-neoliberal, often left-wing and explicitly nationalist political governments have been elected on the basis of an agenda that promises to change the market-based model, primarily by democratising state policies and intensifying the fight against poverty and social, political and cultural exclusion.

In their discourse, these governments stress the need for radical reforms in order to solve social and economic problems in a sustainable way, based on partnerships among different actors e.

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In this context, ecological discourses, indigenous identities, and claims and mobilisations for historical and social justice have increasingly attracted national and regional attention. Meanwhile, at the global level, the long-term economic dependence of LAC has gradually been replaced by a more multi-polar market configuration, especially as emerging markets in the region have become more independent players.

Despite the fact that these new conditions seem to enable more sustainable and equitable approaches to natural resource use in LAC, the recent debates and proposed policy reforms continue to reflect clear tensions between the goals of economic development, social inclusion and ecosystem protection. Social science research is indispensable in understanding the processes driving environmental governance in Latin America and in highlighting the contextual factors driving the different processes related to natural resource use and management.

The analysis of history WP2 , political and social actors and institutions WP3 and WP4 , and knowledge bases WP5 are essential in understanding historical legacies, institutional weaknesses, and opportunities and threats to democratic functioning in relation to environmental governance in LAC. Yet the goal of a sustainable and equitable use of natural resources depends not only on the social context but also on the ecological context - extremely diverse throughout the region - in which production systems operate.

This project identified four main challenges for environmental governance which have been investigated in detail: 1 the paradox between increased production and poverty growth due to large scale production systems WP6 ; 2 the incompatibility between extractive production systems and limits to overcome conflicts WP7 ; 3 the opportunities of innovative local strategies for environmental justice WP8 ;and 4 the ability to tackle global climate change issues as an opportunity for economic and social development WP9.

ENGOV aimed to produce, exchange and spread necessary new scientific knowledge on natural resource use and environmental governance in contemporary LAC. This was done by bringing together a range of LAC and European centres, and a multi-disciplinary team of experts with proven expertise in the field of environmental governance. Innovative tools were used to communicate and disseminate the results across academics, practitioners, policy-makers, communities and other local, national and international stakeholders.

As the attached overview shows, many of these scientific results have already been published in around scientific peer-reviewed articles, chapters and books, while more publications are currently prepared or under review. Together, these three books will stimulate scholarly debates and encourage more academic work on environmental governance, both In LAC countries and elsewhere.

What have been the historical discourses, policies and practices that can explain environmental governance in LAC? This leads to a historicised analysis of present-day environmental governance: Do the ideological preferences of a government make a difference in the production of public policies that regulate the use of natural resources, and what are the historical limitations that they encounter?

To answer this question the recent experience of the post neoliberal governments of Bolivia and Ecuador since and , respectively are taken as point of departure. Given the dual perspective on long term developments and conjunctural factors in this WP, a combination of methodological strategies was resorted to. The historical analysis of environmental governance was done on the basis archives and published sources explaining the historical development of environmental thinking in LAC.

More specifically historical accounts on the roles that these Andean states took on the administration, use, and preservation of natural resources were investigated and analyzed. This led to an analysis of the more recent emerging formal institutions, and the changes in state agencies, on the basis of approximately 30 semi-structured interviews with government officials and leaders of civil society organizations in Ecuador.

In the latter case an ethnographic approach reinforced the analysis of the initiative from the inside. The research shows first of all that ideological preferences of a government do make a difference for environmental governance. It was found that the post neoliberal governments of Ecuador and Bolivia have enacted a broad range of public policies - from Constitutional reforms to the creation or total re-engineering of previously existing state agencies - that changed the governance of natural resources.

Simultaneously, the emergent modes of environmental governance are highly influenced by long term trajectories of development i. In addition, the exceptional gains coming from the price boom of the main commodities exported by Bolivia and Ecuador i. The end result of these four sources of change — ideology, path dependence, deep seated beliefs, and the cycle of the international economy - has been a mode of environmental governance in which the Bolivian and Ecuadorian states have gained more control both over the transnational companies operating in their national territory, and over the organizations of civil society with interests on environmental issues.

These and other findings have been presented in various academic publications. The sectors included were agriculture, mining and forestry. In the fourteen chapters written by a wide range of ENGOV researchers, the book examines how the recent rise of progressive, left-leaning governments — often supported by groups struggling for environmental justice — has challenged the established elites and raised expectations about new regimes for natural resource management.

The main research findings on this ENGOV theme, as presented in this book and additional publications, are the following: - New political-economic elites have emerged due to shifts in the global political economy, political changes and technology shifts. There has been both conflict and accommodation between these and old political-economic elites. Although new elites have pursued a more equitative development model, they have failed to improve environmental governance. The lack of sustainability may jeopardize the gains in equal resource distribution in the long term.

Control over natural resources is an important factor in the competition between new and old elites. Therefore, we see a stronger tendency towards elite shift in natural resource rich countries, as new governments have been strengthened through access to natural resource dividends. The most worrisome finding is that environmental regulations of productive sectors of high importance, even when they exist, are weakly institutionalized. That means that they are often not followed up in a sufficiently rigorous way. The reasons are both lack of political will to give this priority over other highly prioritized issues, and a lack of ability to overcome long ingrained practices of corruption, clientelism and populism undermining institutionalization.

New incipient groups of highly educated officials with a strong expertize on environmental issues are emerging. Some of these seek to cooperate and communicate with communities and social movements through, among other means, social media.

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Strategic actors and responsible consumption in the mining sector WP4 The environmental impact of massive consumption of natural resources, especially of energy and water, is increasingly a reason for concern In Latin America. Water and energy are vital resources for human life and quality of life, and key issues for environmental governance and environmental justice.

Climate change has further deepened the concerns over their massive consumption and its impact The current and future use of water and energy have become key issues for the political and environmental agenda of Latin American countries. Mining is one of the economic activities that proportionately consume more energy and water, and thereby produces large environmental impacts. For this reason the research focus has been on the industrial consumption of water and energy in the South American mining sector.

The analytical framework for this research theme considered a systemic perspective on the consumption of water and energy in mining, beyond an economic or technological vision. What strategic actors think, say and do is crucial for environmental governance. In effect, their collective representations of environmental issues are fundamental to understand social and institutional practices towards sustainable consumption. For this study, we used a mixed methodology with discourse analysis of both institutional texts and individual expressions by key actors.

In Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, in total 65 strategic actors related to selected mining projects were interviewed. The interviewees consisted of influential leaders from business, government, politics, and environmental organizations. The research shows that the institutional approaches on the industrial consumption of water and energy in the mining sector come mainly from corporations and international mining consulting and expert groups. In their texts, efficiency in water en energy consumption is clearly the central notion, which is constantly stressed.

In addition, a transition to renewable energy sources has started to become mentioned as important. The interviews show that overall a discursive consensus seems to exist among different mining-related strategic actors about the importance of living in balance with nature, facing climate change challenges, promoting sustainable development, and including the environment in corporate social responsibility. However a deeper analysis of the discourses shows significant differences, culminating into four discursive models: 1 The first discursive model stresses the need of minimizing consumption and developing a responsible mining, based on confidence in technological solutions to avoid negative environmental effects.

Building and exchanging knowledges on natural resources WP5 With the objective to understand how different 'knowledges' on natural resources contribute to environmental governance, the evolution in the relations between development, environment and these knowledges in LAC countries were studied. The research focussed on traditional indigenous and peasant and scientific actors as knowledge holders.

The process of building knowledge on nature is understood as embedded in the culture, values and institutions of these actors. The methodology involved a multidisciplinary approach applied on a selection of critical case studies following the chain of knowledge s , complemented by a quantitative survey.

From an anthropological perspective on local knowledge, we analysed the evolution in the use of plants in farming practices, cooking, craft, diet, medicinal flora and traditional remedies in Mexico and Brazil. These studies showed that the indigenous and peasant techniques are usually well adapted to the local environment. Simultaneously, thanks to a long-term occupation of the territory, the techniques of local communities are constantly open to innovation, while local networks for allow the circulation of knowledge and of biological objects.

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These studies showed that the distinction between scientific and traditional knowledge may become blurred when knowledge s is included in decision-making on new norms and institutions.