The Professionalization of Public Participation is an edited collection of essays by leading and emerging scholars examining the emerging profession of public participation professionals.

Public participation professionals are persons working in the public, private, or third sectors that are paid to design, implement, and/or facilitate participatory forums. The rapid growth and proliferation of participatory arrangements call for expertise in the organizing of public participation. The contributors analyze the professionalization of this practice in different countries (United States, France, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom) to see how their actions challenge the development of participatory arrangements. Designing such processes is a delicate activity, since it may affect not only the quality of the processes and their legitimacy, but also their capacity to influence decision-making.

chapter 1|14 pages


The Public Participation Professional: An Invisible but Pivotal Actor in Participatory Processes
ByLaurence Bherer, Mario Gauthier, Louis Simard

section I|124 pages

Specific Context

chapter 2|23 pages

Innovating Public Participation

The Role of PPPs and Institutions in Italy
ByRodolfo Lewanski, Stefania Ravazzi

chapter 3|25 pages

The Participatory Democracy Market in France

Between Standardization and Fragmentation
ByAlice Mazeaud, Magali Nonjon

chapter 4|22 pages

Public Participation Professionals in the US

Confronting Challenges of Equity and Empowerment
ByCaroline W. Lee

chapter 5|28 pages

Who’s the Client? The Sponsor, Citizens, or the Participatory Process?

Tensions in the Quebec (Canada) Public Participation Field 1
ByLaurence Bherer, Mario Gauthier, Louis Simard

chapter 6|24 pages

Expertise, Professionalization, and Reflexivity in Mediating Public Participation

Perspectives from STS and British Science and Democracy
ByJason Chilvers

section II|114 pages

Actors and Networks

chapter 7|24 pages

Making It Official

Participation Professionals and the Challenge of Institutionalizing Deliberative Democracy
ByOliver Escobar

chapter 8|24 pages

Negotiating Professional Boundaries

Learning from Collaboration between Academics and Deliberation Practitioners 1
ByDavid Kahane, Kristjana Loptson

chapter 9|25 pages

Making Citizen Panels a “Universal Bestseller”

Transnational Mobilization Practices of Public Participation Advocates
ByNina Amelung, Louisa Grabner

chapter 10|28 pages

Learning to Facilitate

Implications for Skill Development in the Public Participation Field
ByKathryn S. Quick, Jodi R. Sandfort

chapter 11|11 pages


Do the Institutionalization and Professionalization of Public Participation and the Enthusiasm for Participatory Processes Guarantee Greater Democratization?
ByLaurence Bherer, Mario Gauthier, Louis Simard