Inderscience Publishers

Performative governance: dynamics of participatory systems for devising sustainable development projects

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The implementation of sustainable development raises the issues of participatory mechanisms and territorial governance, which are the subject of much research. This article discusses the results of research carried out on the performative dynamics at work (understood as supervisory mechanisms aiming to generate support or to create incentives to act in a desired direction) involved in territorial sustainable development projects. By comparing three case studies, the author was able to analyse stakeholders' motivations and the forms of their debate and commitment. Over and above the diversity of purposes and commitment processes, the analysis made it possible to produce typologies relating to the level of commitment and to varying dialogical and collaborative positions within the systems. More generally, the article also demonstrates the existence of 'wear and tear' mechanisms and the introduction of some distance between participants according to their degree of professionalisation.

Keywords: participation frameworks, participatory mechanisms, participatory systems, performative dynamics, stakeholder commitment, stakeholder motivations, stakeholder professionalism, sustainable development, sustainability, territorial governance, territorial projects

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