Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

We would like, first and foremost, to thank the institutional supporters of this project when it began as a conference at New York University in 2010: the American Sociological Association’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation) and NYU’s Institute for Public...

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Foreword

Craig Calhoun

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pp. ix-xiv

Since the 1970s, the United States has seen oddly contradictory trends. On the one hand we have been “bowling alone,” as Robert Putnam put it when he described the decline of a variety of long-standing forms of shared, collectively organized social activity. On the other hand we have seen an explosion of new forms of participation...

Part I: Introduction

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1. Rising Participation and Declining Democracy

Edward T. Walker, Michael McQuarrie, and Caroline W. Lee

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pp. 18-39

In November 2009, three hundred Michigan residents from all walks of life converged on the state capital in Lansing to take part in a high-level public debate about what should be done to improve their state’s beleaguered economy. In an atmosphere of brewing unrest about the nation’s direction — most clearly marked by raucous congressional...

Part II: Participation and the Reproduction of Inequality

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2. Civic-izing Markets: Selling Social Profits in Public Deliberation

Caroline W. Lee, Kelly McNulty, and Sarah Shaffer

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pp. 42-60

Political scholars and reformers envision public deliberation as a restorative, “real utopian” remedy for a public sphere dominated by professional talking heads and wellfunded special interest groups.² Public dialogue and deliberation processes, which convene lay citizens to engage with each other on the major questions of our time...

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3. Workers’ Rights as Human Rights? Solidarity Campaigns and the Anti-Sweatshop Movement

Steven Vallas, J. Matthew Judge, and Emily R. Cummins

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pp. 61-80

Globalization has confronted workers’ movements with strategic challenges from many directions at once.¹ The spread of neoliberal economic policies; the advent of powerful logistic, transportation, and information technologies; and the worldwide dominance of export-oriented industrialization strategies have all combined to drain...

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4. Legitimating the Corporation through Public Participation

Edward T. Walker

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pp. 81-95

In Between Facts and Norms, Jürgen Habermas makes clear that the public sphere is not a mere organization, institution, or even a social system; it is an emergent phenomenon that refers “neither to the functions nor to the contents of everyday communication but to the social space generated in communicative action.”¹ This space requires a criticalrational...

Part III: The Production of Authority and Legitimacy

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5. No Contest: Participatory Technologies and the Transformation of Urban Authority

Michael McQuarrie

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pp. 98-116

The meaning of participation has been transformed in urban civil society.¹ Once used as a tool for empowering urban citizens against politicians and growth-oriented elites, participation is now a tool for grounding political authority in the context of urban decline. Many sectors of urban civil society have become less independent even though...

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6. The Fiscal Sociology of Public Consultation

Isaac William Martin

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pp. 117-139

On Wednesday, February 18, 2009, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and a nonprofit organization called California Forward jointly convened a meeting of about forty local businesspeople to discuss possible reforms to the state’s tax structure. Through “small group dialogue, electronic keypad voting and written comments,” the participants...

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7. Structuring Electoral Participation: The Formalization of Democratic New Media Campaigning, 2000 – 2008

Daniel Kreiss

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pp. 140-157

Barack Obama spoke to the nation for the first time as president-elect at the site where forty years earlier police and activists clashed during the Vietnam War protests at the Democratic National Convention.¹ Obama attributed his historic victory to “the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two...

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8. Patient, Parent, Advocate, Investor: Entrepreneurial Health Activism from Research to Reimbursement

David Schleifer and Aaron Panofsky

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pp. 158-177

This chapter discusses a phenomenon we call entrepreneurial health activism, which emerges as a response to what its practitioners perceive as the limitations of traditional health activism. We show how entrepreneurial health activists disrupt some conventional modes of governing business and science, namely intellectual property rights...

Part IV: Unintended Consequences and New Opportunities

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9. Spirals of Perpetual Potential: How Empowerment Projects’ Noble Missions Tangle in Everyday Interaction

Nina Eliasoph

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pp. 180-201

A newly prevalent kind of organization is spreading across the globe. It is supposed to, at once, both alleviate poverty and promote civic participation by involving disadvantaged people in solving problems rather than treating them only as victims. Beyond the goals of promoting civic engagement and helping the needy, these organizations...

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10. Becoming a Best Practice: Neoliberalism and the Curious Case of Participatory Budgeting

Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza

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pp. 202-218

The rapid globalization of people and ideas characteristic of our era has posed a number of interesting challenges for critical scholarship, one of which has been the circulation of ideas and blueprints for things that would have once been described as progressive. The appeal of participation described in the introduction is in fact a quite global...

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11. The Social Movement Society, the Tea Party, and the Democratic Deficit

David S. Meyer and Amanda Pullum

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pp. 219-236

Keli Carender started blogging in January 2009, just after Barack Obama took the oath of office. An underemployed math teacher and improv comic, she adopted the pen name, “Liberty Belle,” and called for conservatives to come out and oppose the Obama administration and take back America. She described herself as...

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12. Public Deliberation and Political Contention

Francesca Polletta

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pp. 237-259

On November 15, 2003, residents of Washington, D.C., gathered to deliberate about budget priorities for the city. Organizers of this citizen summit, the third in a series, had recruited a demographically representative group of 2,800 citizens and had gotten the mayor’s commitment to include the summit’s recommendations in a citywide...

Part V: Conclusion

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13. Realizing the Promise of Public Participation in an Age of Inequality

Caroline W. Lee, Michael McQuarrie, and Edward T. Walker

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pp. 262-265

The preceding chapters have, in our estimation, sparked a new critical and empirically grounded dialogue about the practice of participation, its pitfalls, and its promise. Inasmuch as we have selected contributions for the variety of perspectives they offer on participation over time, across particular contexts, at different scales...

References

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pp. 266-295

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About the Contributors

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pp. 296-299

Gianpaolo Baiocchi is Associate Professor of Individualized Studies and Sociology at NYU and Director of the Urban Democracy Lab and Civic Engagement at the Gallatin School at NYU. His most recent book, The Civic Imagination (2014), coauthored with Elizabeth Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Peter Taylor Klein, and Stephanie Savell, examines...

Index

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pp. 300-313