Transforming cities, societies and policies. Psychological reflections on participatory processes’ experiences


Transformations involving worldwide urban contexts and new governance models have been playing a key role in highlighting heterogeneous and diverse devices addressed to promote new connections between social actors and Institutions. Contextual features and dynamics compel us, as researchers, to take into consideration conditions and meanings of political and administrative patterns. Indeed, governing global complexity – at both over-local
and local levels – is evidently far from being effective merely through standard procedures. We propose some reflections on critical questions concerning participatory devices. Our conceptual frame refers to the psychosociological matrix rooted in psychodynamic – in order to take into account how sense-making is tensely constructed between individual and social dimensions – and organizational theories – concerning psychosocial issues in the Local Institutions. We will make reference to some of our action-research experiences carried out in
different local contexts (Italy, Portugal and France) proposing, finally, considerations on different participatory processes’ scenarios.