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Gouvernance métropolitaine et légitimité: les nouveaux territoires de la démocratie dans les agglomérations urbaines

Applicant Kübler Daniel
Number 58522
Funding scheme Swiss Priority Programmes (SPPs)
Research institution Laboratoire d'intermodalité des transports et de planification EPFL-ENAC-INTER-LITEP
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.04.2000 - 31.12.2003
Approved amount 270'134.00
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Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
In most Swiss metropolitan areas, mechanisms of territorial and inter-sectoral governance have been created as an answer to the institutional fragmentation of urban regions. However, the incidences of these new patterns of metropolitan policy-making at the level of democratic politics remain unclear. The goal of this research is to study whether and to what extent metropolitan areas in Switzerland not only emerge as spaces of policies but also as spheres of politics. We will test a certain number of theoretical propositions on the ways in which new mechanisms of governance are likely to affect procedures of democratic legitimacy and accountability. These propositions draw upon two major hypotheses. The first hypothesis, a pessimistic one, considers these mechanisms of governance as a menace to democratic legitimacy and accountability. The second hypothesis, rather optimistic, emphasises the potential for democratic renewal and empowerment which reside in the new mechanisms of governance. These issues will be discussed through the study of four specific policy fields where mecha-nisms of metropolitan governance are common: provision of medical and social services for drug users, public transport, cultural institutions and water provision. Four metropolitan areas in Switzerland (Lausanne-Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Locarno-Bellinzona-Lugano-Chiasso) will be investigated. The design of the research rests on two parts. The first part uses a quantitative methodology, to examine whether metropolitan areas are an object of political identification for their inhabitants, and to study the relationships between citizens and the governance struc-tures that manage metropolitan issues. The quantitative analysis implies a survey of 2000 per-sons in the four metropolitan regions in Switzerland. The second part uses a qualitative methodology, and is based on case studies about the implications of metropolitan governance mechanisms on the institutions of representative democracy and on the patterns of political mobilisation. This part also implies an international perspective involving an analysis of metropolitan governance in four european metropolitan regions (Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Milan, Lyon). At a scientific level, this research is a contribution to the understanding of the recompositions and changes that presently affect the political sphere of metropolitan areas, as well as to the understanding of issues of metropolitan problem solving in general. At a practical level, the results of this research may be useful for decision makers and professionals who are presently involved in projects to reform or reorganise institutionally fragmented metropolitan areas.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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