FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

“This is not politics” How citizens deal with politics in rural participatory governance. A case-study in the Basque Country (Spain).

GT 8 Sociología Política

Patricia García Espín (CSIC)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 1 : Participación política
Responsable(s): Miguel Caínzos López (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: jueves, 30 de junio de 2016
Hora: 09:30 a 11:30
Lugar: S06

Participatory mechanisms are institutional spaces for the political socialization of lay citizens. In recent studies, however, it has been observed that participants frequently depict these institutions as nonpolitical, and engagement as not political at all. This shows a paradox between their normative character and the beliefs of participants. In this paper, this paradox is examined through a case-study of town meetings (concejos abiertos) in the Basque Country (Spain). Through ethnographic interviews with 53 participants, we analyze how they deal with political issues in local meetings, discussing how difficult is to approach politics in that space. A culture of avoiding conflict, avoiding deliberative frustration and, over all, the promotion of inclusiveness despite polarization, are the most relevant arguments. The frame of politics-away is, in this case, an efficient ideological ground for collective action.

Palabras clave: participatory democracy, community participation, conflict, inclussivess