The Jewel of the Crown: Co-optive capacity and participation during austerity in Cardiff and San Sebastian-Donostia
By comparing qualitatively Cardiff and San Sebastián-Donostia (Donostia), 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 2008 financial crisis. Local government’s legitimacy is maintained insofar as it shows capacity to co-opt through negotiation, capture, ‘technicalization’ of processes and minimization of conflict. These elements work in tandem with factors of urban austerity embedded into a longer-term neoliberalizing discourse (Peck, 2012). Our findings show that both city governments maintain their legitimacy but in this process Cardiff Council’s co-optive capacity weakens in contrast to Donostia.
This article was co-authored in collaboration with colleagues from University of the Basque Country and University of Sydney. The article was part of a wider project led by Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Guarneros-Meza, V., I. Telleria, A. Blas and M. Pill (2018) The Jewel of the Crown: Co-optive capacity and participation during austerity in Cardiff and San SebastianDonostia, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42 (6), pp. 1096-1113
Research Group : Centre for Urban Research on Austerity
Peer Reviewed : Yes