COLLECTION ÉTUDES THÉORIQUES
plurality of actors and by the hybridisation of the diverse forms of governance is possible in
the context of current-day capitalism.
In Quebec, three forms of governance (public, partnership-based, and neoliberal) have taken
public governance (1960–1980) and partnership-based governance (1981–2003). The rise to
power of the “Parti libéral du Québec” (PLQ) in 2003 and its more neoliberal agenda have
challenged them favouring a more competitive mode of governance based on PPPs (public and
private partnerships). The agenda also included the consultation of individual citizens that
were randomly chosen to participate in various forums, which challenged both the mechanism
of joint action with collective actors, and the partnership-based forms of governance.
However, these directions have had to adapt to the instituted modes of decision-making and
the Quebec Liberal Party has not been able to dismantle the Quebec model as it had foreseen.
Indeed, recent neoliberal politics have reoriented some of Quebec model underlying social
arrangements but have not been able to dissolve them.
The case of Quebec thus highlights the complexity in which new modes of governance appear,
which aspire to be more inclusive and to aim at consensus. Contradictions between path
dependency and liberal transformations allow for exploiting economic and political, social and
authoritarian traces of emerging liberal modes of governance. Principles based on liberal
ideology, such as openness and accountability are opposed to traditional patterns of
clientelism and patronage, as the Greek case indicates (Wassenhoven 2007). Their application
would lead to increased opportunities for social inclusion. The cases of the Tower Colliery and
Participatory Budgeting in Porto Alegre show the importance of linking these principles to the
notions of socio-economic citizenship and participation to create possibilities for the
emergence of socially creative strategies.
In contrast new kinds of authoritarian traits also emerge with the adoption of some of the
proposed elements of the European governance agenda (EC 2003). Problems occur in
connection with decentralization and devolution, which is an important process in the
implementation of the new principles. In some cases, decentralization led to the proliferation
of clientelist patterns, as the local “chiefs” have been granted more power (Hutchcroft 2001).
These tendencies can be reinforced by the increasingly important role of the “strong mayor“ in
many European cities (Borraz/John 2004). Another important issue in newly emerging
multilateral governance settings – consensual arrangements – also poses problems, which are
Québec à Montréal).
somehow linked to the EU-governance-principles of effectiveness and coherence. Concerning
“coherence”, a “hegemonic consensus” (García/Claver 2003; García et al. 2007: 6) is
emerging, which Oberhuber (2005) calls “mainstreaming” in his discourse analytical study of
the drafting of the European Constitution. This means that “a ‘stream’ of communications is
inconspicuously but steadily narrowed down, extremes on both sides are discarded, divergent
questions and issues are marginalized, deviant positions ignored or ostracized, the stock of
taken-for-granted assumptions, which must not be called into question, thus, is accumulated,
and a dominant discourse (a ‘mainstream’) is established” (Oberhuber 2005: 177). As García
et al. (2007: 6) also note for local governance in Barcelona, “institutions exercise strategic
selectivity, meaning giving support (or even co-optation) to certain grassroots activities and
repressing others according to specific interests”, with “the purpose of legitimising decisions
taken in advance” (ibid.). Within the discourse of technically “efficient” solutions, questions
on who benefits from the “hegemonic consensus” mostly remain untouched.
Many newly emerging multilateral governance arrangements tend to favour short-term output
efficiency at the expense of long-term democratic legitimacy and socio-economic
sustainability undermining the legitimacy of European integration (Peters/Pierre 2004). But
liberal governance is not limited to one outcome and a pre-given mainstream. The case of
Tower Colliery pointed out a strategy of “deviant mainstreaming” which might extend the
dominant modes of governance towards more progressive variants like the “Quebec Model”
which is a “pluralist, almost hybrid mode of governance” which has been able to put brakes on
the imposition of a pure neoliberal model (Fontan et al. 2007: 6ff.). The case studies pointing
at socially creative strategies thus all highlight notions of socio-economic citizenship and
citizen’s governance, representing alternatives to the “hegemonic” consensus, where technical
efficiency is prevalent to social and democratic goals. This is achieved within the framework
of neoliberal restructuring, but reinforcing the notion of citizens’ rights, which should not be
reduced to formal political rights, but have to include social as well as economic rights.
During Fordism, in Western and Northern Europe the welfare state provided the basis for
granting social and political rights via the provision of a social wage, via liberal democracy
and state-provided services. In the economic sphere, co-participation existed via corporatist
arrangements, where trade unions could negotiate working conditions with employers’
representatives. In the newly emerging market and multilateral governance arrangements,
services tend to be privatized or run within public–private partnerships. This leads to
exclusionary dynamics but also opens up new opportunities for socially creative strategies in a
sense of bottom-up approaches to socioeconomic rights. These approaches have been shown
by the case studies of Porto Alegre and the Tower Colliery, where the newly emerging
governance arrangements opened up space for increased socio-economic participation.