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The dilemmas of pursuing 'throughput legitimacy' through participatory mechanisms

The dilemmas of pursuing 'throughput legitimacy' through participatory mechanisms
The dilemmas of pursuing 'throughput legitimacy' through participatory mechanisms
Under pressure to open up the 'black box' of governance, technocratic bodies are increasingly seeking to include civil society participation in the policy process. We draw on empirical cases from the European Commission and NHS England to assess the extent to which the participatory mechanisms pursued by these institutions have been successful in eliciting 'throughput legitimacy'. We show that though these mechanisms have taken very different forms—the former a classic instance of 'window dressing' participation, the latter closer to 'best practice' in this field—they nevertheless share a number of ongoing vulnerabilities. We outline the shared organizational, operational and existential dilemmas that technocratic bodies face when eliciting civil society participation, and highlight their reliance on backstage negotiation to sustain stakeholder buy-in. We conclude by highlighting the prospect that the pursuit of throughput legitimacy for technocratic bodies entails inherent limitations and contradictions.
throughput legitimacy, public administration, participation, democratic governance
0140-2382
459-478
Iusmen, Ingi
696395c1-d60e-4fbd-aa2b-98aeecaa64b2
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c
Iusmen, Ingi
696395c1-d60e-4fbd-aa2b-98aeecaa64b2
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c

Iusmen, Ingi and Boswell, John (2016) The dilemmas of pursuing 'throughput legitimacy' through participatory mechanisms. West European Politics, 40 (2), 459-478. (doi:10.1080/01402382.2016.1206380).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Under pressure to open up the 'black box' of governance, technocratic bodies are increasingly seeking to include civil society participation in the policy process. We draw on empirical cases from the European Commission and NHS England to assess the extent to which the participatory mechanisms pursued by these institutions have been successful in eliciting 'throughput legitimacy'. We show that though these mechanisms have taken very different forms—the former a classic instance of 'window dressing' participation, the latter closer to 'best practice' in this field—they nevertheless share a number of ongoing vulnerabilities. We outline the shared organizational, operational and existential dilemmas that technocratic bodies face when eliciting civil society participation, and highlight their reliance on backstage negotiation to sustain stakeholder buy-in. We conclude by highlighting the prospect that the pursuit of throughput legitimacy for technocratic bodies entails inherent limitations and contradictions.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 August 2016
Additional Information: Funded by ESRC: The EU Human Rights Regime: Policy Feedback and Children's Rights (PTA-026-27-2846)
Keywords: throughput legitimacy, public administration, participation, democratic governance
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397171
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397171
ISSN: 0140-2382
PURE UUID: 7ded9385-53c1-4d1b-9862-1e1387776dbe
ORCID for Ingi Iusmen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6658-0667
ORCID for John Boswell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3018-8791

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jun 2016 15:25
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 01:59

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