Between partnership and symbolism: the role of citizens in European regional policy

Research output: PhD thesisResearch external, graduation external


Since the 50’s Western spatial planning gradually shifted from being an expert driven process towards an interactive process in which various stakeholders from civil society contribute. In order to bring plans closer to the ground the grassroot input of citizens was therefore also considered to be desirable (Friedman, 1969, Taylor, 1999 and Smith, 2005). With the ladder of
citizen participation by Arnstein (1969) the paradox of citizen participation was addressed. Involving citizens often was conceived to be problematic and the usefulness of the grassroot input was hard to retrieve. Nevertheless, due to essential social changes from the past twenty years, societies became more interdependent (Castels, 2000). Contemporary plan-making therefore is supposed to adapt to the ‘bottom-up’ and ‘horizontal’, governance processes that are on the rise. Social movements are usually rooted in cities and regions. Thus, citizen participation is often associated with these levels of government...
Original languageEnglish
  • Paul, L.J. (Leo), Supervisor, External person
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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