Bidding in Response to Calls For Proposals

Case Study of Bidding Experiences in the Field of Cultural Heritage
By Éléanor Breton

This article analyzes the use and the impact of the “call for proposals” policy tool at the French local government level. This increasingly implemented device is an integral part of the incentive policy designs based on the subsidiarity principle. A case study of a call for proposals that was established by a Regional Council in the cultural heritage field was carried out. It focused on the application process of four candidates – four local authorities – at a micro-sociological level. The findings of this analysis highlight discrete self-discipline trends, which are masked by appearances of choice. Three dynamics can be identified : (1) the urgency in which the candidacy took place ; (2) the anticipation strategies used to identify and write the “right” project ; (3) the effects of this operation perceivable through the attitudes of the local government agents. They have therefore led the agents to learn how to deal with the criteria of the call for proposals, by producing themselves their own points of reference in a situation of uncertainty.

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