Special report: deliberative arenas
Or the social partners tested by participatory democracyBy Alice Mazeaud
"This is an analysis of the installation of a participatory device in a sector which seemed controlled by old and solid relations between representatives of the ministry and certain teaching trade unions. In a sector which, because of failed reforms and recurrent strikes, could appear "ungovernable", the implementation of such a procedure means more than the demonstration of trade-union uselessness as regards reflection on the School; it dilutes the power of the actors recognized up to now in a process of formation of a "base" of ordinary people informed by collective discussion. Also of interest is how these professionals in representation and bargaining sought to exist, to last, and even to gain new positions in this device which however tended to dispossess them."