Scope and Limits of a Citizen Jury

Special report: “Conflicts at work”
Lessons from the Saint-Brieuc Case
By Rémi Barbier, Clémence Bedu, Nicolas Buclet

This paper discusses the first French experience of a “citizen jury”€ related to the organization of a local utility (waste management). After giving an historical and conceptual background on the concept of random selection, we provide a narrative of the experience and of its controversial context. The analysis focuses on the impact of this experience on citizens forced to put aside their private affairs in order to become co-producers of a public decision. More specifically, it shows how civic involvement can trigger “legitimacy trouble”€ and a “€œfeeling of moral responsibility”€ among members of the jury. Their reactions have been, on one hand, to forge progressively a collective ethic of civic involvement, and on the other hand, to develop a broad awareness of “sustainability”€ by favoring the use of soft techniques and pro-environmental modes of behavior.


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