Amy Khare is a PhD student in the School of Social Service Administration.
Participation, deliberation, and decision-making: The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in mixed-income developments
(Co-authored with Dr. Robert Chaskin and Dr. Mark Joseph)
Abstract: This paper explores the mechanisms, processes, and dynamics of participation and deliberation in three newly created, heterogeneous mixed-income communities being built on the footprint of former public housing developments in Chicago. Our findings reflect enduring dilemmas about the challenge of democratic participation and representation for low-income citizens in the context of public housing reform efforts. Fundamental tension exists between two orientations to organizing participation, one that privileges “mainstreaming” public housing resident participation into market and civil society, and another that suggests the continuing need for separate mechanisms that maximize public housing resident representation. In this paper, we frame the theoretical debates over the potential for establishing effective mechanisms to promote deliberative democracy at a neighborhood-level. We then explore how participatory mechanisms are viewed by key stakeholders, provide an overview of the participatory landscape, and examine how the organization of opportunities for deliberation and emerging patterns of participation shape dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in these contexts. Based on these findings, we suggest implications for policy and governance initiatives aimed at promoting deliberative democracy at a neighborhood-level.