The Jewel of the Crown: Co-optative capacity during austerity in Cardiff and San Sebastian-Donostia
By comparing Cardiff and San Sebastián-Donostia (SSD), the paper argues that local governments’ capacity to co-opt provides a relevant approach to understanding changes in citizen participation under fiscal austerity. The argument is based on the close interrelationship among co-optation, legitimacy and procedural regulation. These concepts help to understand how citizen participation is maintained in periods of instability, experienced by city governments during and in the aftermath of the 2010 financial crisis. Local government’s legitimacy is maintained insofar as it shows capacity to co-opt through negotiation, capture, technicalisation of processes and minimisation of conflict. These elements work in tandem with factors of urban austerity embedded into a longer-term neoliberalising discourse (Peck, 2012). Our findings show that both city governments maintain their legitimacy but in this process Cardiff Council’s co-optative capacity weakens in contrast to SSD.
Citation : Guarneros-Meza, V., Telleria, I., Blas, A. and Pill, M. (2017) The Jewel of the Crown: Co-optative capacity during austerity in Cardiff and San Sebastian-Donostia. Regional Studies Association Conference, Dublin, July 2017.
Research Group : Centre for Urban Research on Austerity
Peer Reviewed : No