COLLECTION ÉTUDES THÉORIQUES
In our inquiry we have tried to overcome a single-focused analysis through the parallel
examination of the content and the process dimension of inequality. Nevertheless, we will
elaborate on the process dimension in somewhat more detail, focusing on democratic
governance as an important prerequisite for social innovations.
The main exclusionary dynamics in the field of governance and democracy will be presented
in box 1. These tendencies refer to the problematic of exclusion from governance, whereas
exclusion through governance is given less emphasis. Concerning the links between
governance and democracy, the main concern is with people who are being excluded from
political decision making. Nevertheless, exclusion through governance remains important as it
leads to exclusion from areas being explored in the other existential fields. The organizational
design of governance mechanisms may also lead to exclusionary dynamics, which leads to
cases where exclusion through governance also implies exclusion from governance.
Box 2 shows the socially creative strategies to overcome the exclusionary dynamics being
displayed in box 1. The main emphasis is given to democratic innovations which foster the
public spirit of political decisions – especially concerning participatory innovations and
community-based initiatives. These can be regarded as innovative as they are responses to
problems concerning the bureaucratic character of the welfare state. However, these
innovations are Janus-faced, as they may also reinforce exclusionary dynamics which will be
explained in the paper.
The paper deals with the issues of “Governance and Democracy” and relates them to questions
of social exclusion from and through governance mechanisms and possible socially creative
strategies to overcome the exclusionary dynamics. This text is a focussed survey, relating the
recently emerging “governance” theories to the field of democracy. It is a joint effort which
includes the input of various partners from different institutions
. In this introduction, the most
exclusionary dynamics and the concerning socially innovative responses. This will provide the
basis for the identification of particular foci being dealt with throughout the paper in chapter 1.
Chapter 2 will then summarize important theories for the empirical cases being dealt with in
chapter 3. In chapter 4 we will identify specific initiatives which have the potential to
represent ‛best practices’. These practices will be analysed critically to show the problems
resulting from the application of the socially innovative responses to exclusionary dynamics.
Chapter 5 will focus on the aspects of multi-level governance to give further emphasis to
The contributions by the non-coordinating partners will be either explicitly marked in the document or appear in the technical annex, if
questions related to scale. Chapter 6 will focus on methodological implications of the findings
from the previous chapters.
Main Exclusionary Dynamics
Elitist forms of governance undermine democracy and produce political exclusion.
Republican value “one (wo)man – one vote” is replaced by flexible forms of elite
globalisation processes: effects on specific territories and processes of local
existing parliamentary democratic institutions – tendency towards managerial
forms of governance and growth alliances).
limiting democratic space of manoeuvre (e.g. New Public Management).
Tension between plurality of cultures (diversity) and a single market
Bottom-up empowerment strategies (democratisation and participation of civil society,
no creative strategies “out” of exclusion that only have to be copied. Social innovation
and experimentation is needed to increase participation of all the populace.
the local level.
Valorisation of participatory methods at the local and initiative level (new forms of
in territorial policies and practices).
Sovereignty and multiscalar politics: search for a new definition of sovereignty in
dynamics, diversity and transborder modes of governance?