Sebastiano Citroni

Water socialisation at the grass roots. Prefiguration in civic action styles

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: water agreement, Civic Action, Po, prefiguration, scene styles.

This paper explores the emerging forms of water socialisation promoted by civil society actors through grassroots initiatives. The analysis focuses on the case study of the Manifesto for the Po, a heterogeneous civic network established in May 2017 to attract political attention to the need for integrated management to protect the river Po. The analysis focuses on the tensions that the observed grassroots «mobilisation» faces in pursuing its institution-building goals. According to the prefiguration hypothesis adopted, such tensions – namely, the way they are addressed and managed in everyday settings – anticipate the emerging forms of the new water agreements being pursued. The main research finding shows the same tensions arose in two recurrent action dilemmas, which depended on the styles of civic action practiced by the Manifesto for the Po. The analysis of this experience of civil society presented here thus reveals how recent policy recommendations to stimulate civic participation translate into at least two types of commonising process, through which water socialisation develops from the bottom up. The discussion stresses how these types are neither mutually exclusive nor equally ready to be included in governance arenas.

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