COLLECTION ÉTUDES THÉORIQUES
proposed that the social process can be described as deviant mainstreaming and that
collectively similarly processes taking place in other organised settings can be described as
organisation such as workers cooperatives to move from being ‘contained contention’ to
‘transgressive contention’ within the conceptual framework suggested by McAdam et al.
Danish urban policy and urban democracy can be characterised by a striking duality and
Participatory empowering welfare oriented community strategies, which targets deprived
founded on priorities of welfare inclusion and citizens empowerment.
Neo-elitist/corporative market driven strategic regional and global growth strategies, which
urban policy is facilitation of the “growth machine”.
In international comparisons Denmark is regarded as a relatively successful welfare model,
but the “Danish Job Miracle” has to a large extent bypassed the deprived districts
(Andersen/Hovgård 2003; Andersen 2005) Hence exclusion dynamics in terms of ethnic and
social segregation, collective stigmatization of these areas – and very often combined with
lower quality of public services (in particular schools etc.) came on the agenda since the
eighties. The national response to this development came in 1993 (when the social democrats
came back into power) in the form of a long-term social action programme based on the
principles of multidimensional area-based action, participation (including participation of the
Social Housing Associations) and partnership. The programme quickly became an innovative
and experimental part of public planning and welfare policy. It had elements of a “politics of
positive selectivity” (targetting the multidimensional dynamics of exclusion in deprived urban
areas) and “social mobilisation” approach. In the implementation, the National Urban
Committee (“Byudvalget”) has, in the negotiations about project contracts with the
Municipalities and Housing Associations, insisted that citizen participation and empowerment
orientation in the projects should be taken seriously. Hence the socially creative strategy in the
best cases part was the “top-down” facilitation of local holistic social action programmes,
This chapter was written by: John Andersen, Department of Environment, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University, Denmark.
which empowered community activist and NGO’s and represented “added value” to existing
However the “Entrepreneurial City” growth policy and the area based social action
programmes are not well orchestrated and integrated, but manifest themselves as two
disconnected and contradictory parts of a new urban governance. (Fotel/Andersen 2003).
Looking back to the urban policy scenes of the seventies it is obvious that urban social
movements are excluded from the new powerful Entrepreneurial City elite networks. On the
other hand the voice of community activists re-entered the urban political scene since the mid
nineties, not least because the state initiated the implementation of area based social action
programmes in deprived districts. Many former activists now found a platform in which they
could use their local knowledge and participatory skills in a new setting (Andersen/al. 1995).
Hence, an ambiguous duality can be identified between (a) the strategies for economic
revitalisation dominated by neo-corporatist, elitist governance and (b) the area based
programmes for deprived districts influenced by planning ideas of social mobilisation
(Friedmann 1987) and community empowerment (Craig/Mayo 1995). This dualism was also
manifest at the state level, where the 1990s showed a growing tension between the Ministry of
Financial Affairs, which emphasises the entrepreneurial and market aspects of urban
governance, on the one hand, and the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Housing on the other,
because they emphasised the need for comprehensive urban policy concerned with social
integration, local creativity and empowerment and the avoidance of socio-spatial polarisation
on the other.
Conflicting Agendas and Lack of Cross Scale Strategies and Linkages
The two-faced urban policy and governance present consist on the one hand of a
Schumpetarian strategic growth policy, which sets the agenda at state, regional and municipal
level, and on the other hand we have at district level a reinvention of participatory planning
instruments supported by nationally funded social action programmes for the deprived urban
areas. The missing links are, however, still those between the corporate growth and
entrepreneurial strategy and the participatory programmes for social renewal in the deprived