Advanced

Democracy Beyond the Ballot Box. Citizen Participation and Social Rights in Post-Transition Chile.

Rindefjäll, Teresia LU (2005) In Lund Political Studies 137.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vad betyder egentligen demokratisering för medborgaren i termer av möjligheter för deltagande i och inflytande över socio-politiska processer? Denna fråga står i centrum för föreliggande avhandling. Den våg av demokratiseringsprocesser som svept över utvecklingsvärlden under de senaste decennierna har medfört ökad frihet för miljontals människor och givit upphov till en rik akademisk litteratur. De flesta studier på området behandlar dock demokratins proceduriella aspekter som val och tenderar att analysera demokratiseringsprocessen utifrån den politiska elitens perspektiv. Genom att låta medborgarens perspektiv genomsyra avhandlingen syftar den till att bredda och komplettera existerande... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vad betyder egentligen demokratisering för medborgaren i termer av möjligheter för deltagande i och inflytande över socio-politiska processer? Denna fråga står i centrum för föreliggande avhandling. Den våg av demokratiseringsprocesser som svept över utvecklingsvärlden under de senaste decennierna har medfört ökad frihet för miljontals människor och givit upphov till en rik akademisk litteratur. De flesta studier på området behandlar dock demokratins proceduriella aspekter som val och tenderar att analysera demokratiseringsprocessen utifrån den politiska elitens perspektiv. Genom att låta medborgarens perspektiv genomsyra avhandlingen syftar den till att bredda och komplettera existerande demokratiseringsstudier. Ett teoretiskt ramverk som grundas i normativ demokratiteori och en föreställning om demokrati som folkstyre utgör utgångspunkten för studiet av deltagandeprocesser och deras dynamik. Genom att låta denna föreställning av demokrati och dess två värden, politisk jämlikhet och folklig makt, vara fokus uppmärksammas att demokrati är en fråga om makt ? om vem som får säga vad, när och med vilka effekter. För att komma åt vem som inkluderas i deltagandeprocesser och huruvida deltagandet kan leda till inflytande ägnas särskild uppmärksamhet åt förhållandet mellan medborgare och stat, upphovet bakom deltagandeprocesserna samt hur deltagandet ser ut i praktiken.



Empiriskt riktas intresset mot den chilenska demokratiseringsprocessen efter 1990 då demokratin återinfördes. Den centrala frågan rör möjligheterna för marginaliserade grupper att stärka sina sociala rättigheter, särskilt rätten till hälsa. Vilka processer gynnar dylikt inflytande? Vilka hinder och problem kan identifieras? Deltagandeprocesser som initierats från staten och från medborgarna själva (i civilsamhälleliga organisationer) undersöks för att urskilja likheter och skillnader i utformning och effekter.



Avhandlingen visar att normativ demokratiteori och ett medborgarsperspektiv utgör viktiga komplement till existerande demokratiseringsstudier. Den illustrerar att medborgerligt deltagande är en i högsta grad politisk process som präglas av interaktion mellan de inblandade aktörerna och omgivande samhälleliga strukturer och normer och som kan utformas och genomföras på olika grunder och med olika mål. Det chilenska fallet visar att lovande deltagandeprocesser initierats, både från staten och medborgare. Generellt kan man dock säga att processer som initierats från staten präglas av en depolitiserad syn på deltagande vilken hindrar deltagandeprocesser från att verka som en kraft för strukturell social förändring. Medborgerliga initiativ som bygger på en rättighetssyn å andra sidan tenderar att utmana existerande samhälleliga normer och strukturer och kan verka som en kraft för att förstärka marginaliserade gruppers rätt till hälsa. Studien visar att detta är fallet speciellt när mobilisering kombineras med legala processer och en hög grad av synlighet i media. De möter dock viktiga hinder som behöver åtgärdas om den chilenska demokratin ska fördjupas, inklusive den dominerande synen på demokrati som elitstyre och en nyliberal utvecklingsmodell som erbjuder en begränsad syn på medborgarskap och är beroende av låga nivåer av politiserat medborgerligt deltagande. (Less)
Abstract
The global expansion of democratic rule in the developing world has attracted much scholarly interest. The societal implications of the democratisation process, i.e. what democratisation actually means for the citizens in terms of opportunities for participation and influence, have not received as much attention though. This study makes a contribution to redressing the imbalance. Drawing on normative democratic theory, the author advances an analytical framework that directs our attention beyond elections to explore citizen participation as a vehicle for influence in the democratisation process. A notion of democracy as political equality and popular control and an acknowledgement that democracy is a question of power relations provide the... (More)
The global expansion of democratic rule in the developing world has attracted much scholarly interest. The societal implications of the democratisation process, i.e. what democratisation actually means for the citizens in terms of opportunities for participation and influence, have not received as much attention though. This study makes a contribution to redressing the imbalance. Drawing on normative democratic theory, the author advances an analytical framework that directs our attention beyond elections to explore citizen participation as a vehicle for influence in the democratisation process. A notion of democracy as political equality and popular control and an acknowledgement that democracy is a question of power relations provide the requisite substance and support to the framework, which encompasses tools to explore the who, how and what of citizen participation, i.e. the conceptualisation of citizen-state relations, the impetus behind the process, and where and in relation to what participation takes place. The framework is applied to a detailed empirical analysis of the Chilean democratisation process and the possibilities for marginalised groups to strengthen their social rights, in particular the right to health. What practices are conducive to voice and influence? What main obstacles may be identified? Participatory processes initiated from above, i.e. by the state, as well as processes initiated from below, i.e. by citizens active within civil society organisations, are scrutinised with regard to their conceptual underpinnings as well as how they are borne out in practice.



This study shows the relevance and contribution of normative democratic theory and a citizen perspective to capturing the process of political change in post-transition societies. It illustrates that citizen participation is an inherently political enterprise that can be proffered on different premises and with different goals and is marked by constant interaction between actors and societal structures. The Chilean case shows that promising participatory processes initiated both from above and from below do exist. Generally, however, practices initiated by the Chilean state reflect a depoliticised notion of citizen participation, which limits their capacity for structural change. Citizen initiatives anchored in a rights-based approach on the other hand tend to challenge existing societal norms and structures and can work as a vehicle for influence, especially if mobilisational and judicial efforts are combined with extensive media coverage. Nonetheless, they encounter important impediments that need to be dealt with if the scope and depth of the Chilean democracy are to be enhanced, including the domination of an interpretation of democracy as elite rule and a neo-liberal development model that proffers a narrow conceptualisation of citizenship and is dependent upon low levels of politicised citizen involvement. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Törnquist, Olle, Institutt for statsvitenskap, Oslo University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Chile, right to health, social rights, rights-based approach, citizen-state relations, power, citizen participation, democracy, democratisation, Latin America, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
in
Lund Political Studies
volume
137
pages
256 pages
publisher
Department of Political Science, Lund University
defense location
Pangea hörsal 229, Geocentrum II
defense date
2005-05-23 10:15
ISSN
0460-0037
ISBN
91-88306-49-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9b183832-d41b-4bd2-824f-768b15a87195 (old id 25014)
date added to LUP
2007-06-01 09:12:08
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:55
@phdthesis{9b183832-d41b-4bd2-824f-768b15a87195,
  abstract     = {The global expansion of democratic rule in the developing world has attracted much scholarly interest. The societal implications of the democratisation process, i.e. what democratisation actually means for the citizens in terms of opportunities for participation and influence, have not received as much attention though. This study makes a contribution to redressing the imbalance. Drawing on normative democratic theory, the author advances an analytical framework that directs our attention beyond elections to explore citizen participation as a vehicle for influence in the democratisation process. A notion of democracy as political equality and popular control and an acknowledgement that democracy is a question of power relations provide the requisite substance and support to the framework, which encompasses tools to explore the who, how and what of citizen participation, i.e. the conceptualisation of citizen-state relations, the impetus behind the process, and where and in relation to what participation takes place. The framework is applied to a detailed empirical analysis of the Chilean democratisation process and the possibilities for marginalised groups to strengthen their social rights, in particular the right to health. What practices are conducive to voice and influence? What main obstacles may be identified? Participatory processes initiated from above, i.e. by the state, as well as processes initiated from below, i.e. by citizens active within civil society organisations, are scrutinised with regard to their conceptual underpinnings as well as how they are borne out in practice.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This study shows the relevance and contribution of normative democratic theory and a citizen perspective to capturing the process of political change in post-transition societies. It illustrates that citizen participation is an inherently political enterprise that can be proffered on different premises and with different goals and is marked by constant interaction between actors and societal structures. The Chilean case shows that promising participatory processes initiated both from above and from below do exist. Generally, however, practices initiated by the Chilean state reflect a depoliticised notion of citizen participation, which limits their capacity for structural change. Citizen initiatives anchored in a rights-based approach on the other hand tend to challenge existing societal norms and structures and can work as a vehicle for influence, especially if mobilisational and judicial efforts are combined with extensive media coverage. Nonetheless, they encounter important impediments that need to be dealt with if the scope and depth of the Chilean democracy are to be enhanced, including the domination of an interpretation of democracy as elite rule and a neo-liberal development model that proffers a narrow conceptualisation of citizenship and is dependent upon low levels of politicised citizen involvement.},
  author       = {Rindefjäll, Teresia},
  isbn         = {91-88306-49-6},
  issn         = {0460-0037},
  keyword      = {Chile,right to health,social rights,rights-based approach,citizen-state relations,power,citizen participation,democracy,democratisation,Latin America,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap,förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {256},
  publisher    = {Department of Political Science, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Political Studies},
  title        = {Democracy Beyond the Ballot Box. Citizen Participation and Social Rights in Post-Transition Chile.},
  volume       = {137},
  year         = {2005},
}