Confronting conflicts: How urban professionals deal with everyday conflicts in Malmø & Copenhagen

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This paper reports from a comparative study of urban leaders and their handling of everyday conflicts in urban regeneration projects in two cities (Malmø in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark). Processes of urban regeneration and have in many ways functioned as laboratories for public authorities in developing community development and participatory practices (Ledwith 2011) and they have a long tradition for working closely with citizens and other local stakeholders in the development of innovative solutions to wicked problems.

The everyday service delivery or lack thereof by public institutions and the direct contact between citizens and civil servants are of utmost importance for the citizens’ perceptions of public institutions. With inspiration from Healey (2012) we aim to analyse the contribution of governance micro-practices, drawing on experiences of “democracy-in –action” in the fine grain practices of spatial planning and urban policy in order to answer questions such as:

- What dilemmas, challenges and conflicts do public administrators experience in new forms of competing rationalities of governance processes and how do they cope with it?

- How do they mediate between different interests in public policy conflicts? And how do they incorporate principles such as fairness, inclusive representation and autonomy?

- How do public administrators balance between the demands of public authorities and the needs of multiple stakeholders involved in collaborative governance processes?

Based on readings of the theoretical literature on conflict resolution and on the roles of professionals we aim to revisit the theories of Liepsky and the street level bureaucrat in the context of urban network governance. The empirical data derives from field observations and interviews in Copenhagen and Malmø as well as qualitative interviews and workshop sessions held over a period from September 2012 to March 2013 with six urban leaders in Copenhagen
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Begivenhed7th ECPR General Conference - Bordeaux, Bordeaux, Frankrig
Varighed: 4 sep. 201311 sep. 2013


Konference7th ECPR General Conference

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