In the last decades citizen initiatives of urban action have received extensive attention by scholars for their divergence from highly formalized planning routines, their innovative logics and ways of engaging with city making and with citizens’ unformalized needs. These initiatives of reappropriation have often been regarded by urban scholars as open processes of emergent sensemaking and spaces of freedom, opposed to the institutionalized nature of public administrations. However, current urban theories on the transformative nature of citizen initiatives present an overly optimistic stance, assuming them devoid of institutionalized and oppressive dimensions. Furthermore, these conclusions are drawn from empirical research limited to the initial phases of these initiatives. Considering institutionalization incipient in every social situation con­tinuing in time, the research aims at exploring the institutionalization of citizen initiatives, their learning and innovation processes and the effects of these phenomena on their urban actions, public services and internal democratic practices. The first level of analysis of the research explores synchronically and diachronically two citizen initiatives in France and Slovakia active for two decades. In the second level the thesis explores the engagement of these two initiatives with new problematic situations - specifically two processes of urban transformation - to observe the learning and innovation effects they generate. Adopting a perspective influenced by grounded, internalist, situated, value-critical and dialogical perspectives, the research illustrates that while these initiatives develop processes of habitualization and institutionalization, but they still present a certain level of flexibility; they institute values, routines, roles, practices, knowledges and operations of production of public services that are politically alternative, therefore creating alternative institutions. The thesis also argues that, in a cyclical loop, they can de-institutionalize or suspend part of their routines to tackle new problematic situations, allowing the inclusion of heterodox approaches in their operations. While they have difficulties in absorbing innovations in their institutional dimensions, these de-institutionalized spaces constitute innovative milieux from which other actors can learn and transfer innovations to other initiatives and contexts. Tackling these research themes, the thesis contributes to debates in planning theory and public policy, developing theoretical reflections on the relation between citizen initiatives, institutions and innovation, on the publicization of problems, on the institutionalization of direct action as a strategy to face problematic situations by citizens and on new analytical approaches to radical planning theory.

Off-center. Citizen initiatives between institutionalization and innovation. Evidences from case studies in Slovakia and France / Campagnari, Francesco. - (2020 May 19). [10.25432/campagnari-francesco_phd2020-05-19]

Off-center. Citizen initiatives between institutionalization and innovation. Evidences from case studies in Slovakia and France.

CAMPAGNARI, FRANCESCO
2020

Abstract

In the last decades citizen initiatives of urban action have received extensive attention by scholars for their divergence from highly formalized planning routines, their innovative logics and ways of engaging with city making and with citizens’ unformalized needs. These initiatives of reappropriation have often been regarded by urban scholars as open processes of emergent sensemaking and spaces of freedom, opposed to the institutionalized nature of public administrations. However, current urban theories on the transformative nature of citizen initiatives present an overly optimistic stance, assuming them devoid of institutionalized and oppressive dimensions. Furthermore, these conclusions are drawn from empirical research limited to the initial phases of these initiatives. Considering institutionalization incipient in every social situation con­tinuing in time, the research aims at exploring the institutionalization of citizen initiatives, their learning and innovation processes and the effects of these phenomena on their urban actions, public services and internal democratic practices. The first level of analysis of the research explores synchronically and diachronically two citizen initiatives in France and Slovakia active for two decades. In the second level the thesis explores the engagement of these two initiatives with new problematic situations - specifically two processes of urban transformation - to observe the learning and innovation effects they generate. Adopting a perspective influenced by grounded, internalist, situated, value-critical and dialogical perspectives, the research illustrates that while these initiatives develop processes of habitualization and institutionalization, but they still present a certain level of flexibility; they institute values, routines, roles, practices, knowledges and operations of production of public services that are politically alternative, therefore creating alternative institutions. The thesis also argues that, in a cyclical loop, they can de-institutionalize or suspend part of their routines to tackle new problematic situations, allowing the inclusion of heterodox approaches in their operations. While they have difficulties in absorbing innovations in their institutional dimensions, these de-institutionalized spaces constitute innovative milieux from which other actors can learn and transfer innovations to other initiatives and contexts. Tackling these research themes, the thesis contributes to debates in planning theory and public policy, developing theoretical reflections on the relation between citizen initiatives, institutions and innovation, on the publicization of problems, on the institutionalization of direct action as a strategy to face problematic situations by citizens and on new analytical approaches to radical planning theory.
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Dottorato di ricerca in Pianificazione territoriale e politiche pubbliche del territorio
Off-center. Citizen initiatives between institutionalization and innovation. Evidences from case studies in Slovakia and France / Campagnari, Francesco. - (2020 May 19). [10.25432/campagnari-francesco_phd2020-05-19]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11578/283642
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