Participation as assemblage: Introducing assemblage as a framework for analysing participatory processes and outcomes
The article presents a yet unexplored framework for analysing the multidimensionality and dis/connections of participatory processes and their outcomes by using the concept of the ‘assemblage’ (DeLanda, 2006). The case is an eight-month collaboration between a task force initiated by Central Denmark Region, the socio-economic company Sager der Samler, and citizens. The collaboration is aimed at bringing together and working across various institutional and user perspectives to act on a societal challenge. The analysis is theoretically based on a review of existing theories of participation and typologies for analysing and evaluating participation. In particu- lar, the analysis focuses on the assemblage approach as a way of acknowledging the institutional, affective, mate- rial and power-related complexity of participatory processes. The assemblage approach helps to analytically stress that the process under investigation should be evaluated both with a more traditional focus on decision-making or power allocation, as well as taking into account the social, personal-affective and material benefits produced, and the potential for change in the relationship between public administration and citizens.
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