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PAGANINI Report Summary

Project ID: 505791
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Austria

Final Report Summary - PAGANINI (Participatory governance and institutional innovation)

The PAGANINI project brought together a group of outstanding scholars for the period of three years to reflect and work on one of the key topics of contemporary governance: the question of how to deal with newly arising challenges in the politics of life, and in particular to which extent the utilisation of participatory instruments would be useful and be called for develop working methods in the field of the governance of life.

The project was structured into nine Work packages (WPs), as follows:
WP 0 - Project management
The project started on 1 May 2004. The partners met in several workshops throughout the project. In these workshops, the consortium discussed the methodological and theoretical foundation of the project, the outlines of the case studies, research results, its dissemination strategies as well as publications plans. The coordinator also made a substantial effort to involve the advisory committee in the workshops. Another major task of project management was to organise the dissemination activities.

WP 1 - Theory and method
The goals of WP 1 were:
- to elaborate the conceptual framework of the research project;
- to position contemporary forms of civic participation and the 'politics of life' within existing concepts of participation;
- to elaborate the notion of civic participation against the background of broader processes of social change and the emergence of new 'governance' strategies;
- to work out the methodological guidelines for the case studies.

WP 2 - Defining human life
WP 2 studied the conflict about Human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research and therapeutic cloning in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom , Italy, and the European Union level, against the background of the situation in Israel and the United States. In particular, WP2 focused on the question of how the highly contentious fields of HESC research and cloning have led to the creation of new forms of institutional deliberation that combine ethical consensus-finding and reflection with public participation and governance.

WP 3 - Genetic testing
The WP sets out to investigate the effects of social controversy in the issue area of genetic testing on the emergence of new forms of civic participation and to analyse the mechanisms and rationales underlying these new forms as well as their effects. The goal is to increase our understanding of the effects of institutional crisis in the sphere of 'politics of life' on the development of new forms of participatory governance.

WP 4 - Habitat directive
WP 4 set out to analyse recent changes in the focus of conservation policy and their implications as regards the need to involve citizens in conservation planning and implementation. The main new challenge of conservation policy, to integrate conservation with land-use planning and subsistence practices, brings conservation policy into close contact with subsistence practices and, thus, creates new kinds of social and political conflicts. Within Europan Union, the conflicts are accentuated when pan-European conservation goals are implemented nationally, regionally and locally. The aim of the WP was, in particular, to assess the possibilities of enhancing European multi-level governance in nature conservation, which would be based on public participation and trust. The cases to study this problem in particular were the flying squirrel (Finland) and the loggerhead turtle (Greece).

WP 5 - Civic participation after food scandals and scares
The objectives of the WP were:
1. historical analysis of the social controversy in the aftermath of the BSE food scare, with a focus on the way food and food production was framed initially (as a sector concern), and subsequently reframed (in terms of food safety, consumer protection and 'transnationality') at four regulatory nodal points (European Union, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Greece);
2. identification and categorisation of emerging participatory practices;
3. identification of the most promising responses with regard to the generation of 'active trust' and innovative governance, in particular by relating civic participation to other organisational practices;
4. understanding selected practices in terms of their position in the 'network society' and a context of 'multi-level governance';
5. assessment of selected practices of civic participation in terms of generating innovative governance and inclusiveness vis-à-vis gender, age, class and ethnicity;
6. review of state of the art research in this field and mapping of related European research competencies.

WP 6 - Genetically modified (GM) food
The WP examined the role played by public participation in the regulation of genetically modified agriculture in Europe. In particular it aimed:
- to understand the development of the social controversy over the use of agricultural biotechnology in Europe;
- to identify, categorise and assess existing and emerging participatory practices in Europe, and assess the way in which they have succeeded in generating innovative governance, with attention to the 'inclusiveness' of participation in terms of gender, age, class and ethnicity;
- to map the interlinkages between subnational, national, European Union and global levels of governance in the making and implementation of agricultural biotechnology policy in Europe;
- to analyse tensions and conflicts between emergent participatory governance practices at the national level and transnational bodies such as the European Union and the World Trade Organization (WTO); and
- to draw out implications for the effective design of participatory institutions.

WP 7 - Nuclear power dilemmas in New Member States
The research conducted within the first reporting period has primarily focussed on the Ig-nalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania. The research explored the following aspects: the narrative, the story's context, the key incidents, and themes.

WP 8 - Comparison
The main goals of this WP were to compare and draw conclusions from the research results from the case studies, to work out recommendations for designing participatory solutions in multilevel governance in Europe.

WP 9 - Dissemination
Dissemination of results was planned through the following tools: advisory committee; outreach programme; cooperation with Danish Board of Technology; webpage; conference presentations.

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