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.
Louis Simard is Associate Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research work focuses on public participation, instruments of public action, social acceptability, and organizational learning in the environmental and energy sectors.