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ENGAGE – Participation for a Sustainable Common Good

The project ENGAGE  explores the conditions under which civic participation contributes to a sustainable common good. The term refers to both - public common good of present and future generations and thus the protection of ecological, social and economic conditions. Participation formats are currently criticised of representing only particular interests.

In order to answer the question about the conditions under which participation can contribute to a sustainable common good, the project team under the management of the University of Münster investigates various participation formats in five case studies.

The IÖW is conducting two of these case studies. The first one deals with the participation of civil society in and through associations, with focus on a comparative study of classically organised actors (such as labour unions, or welfare organisations) and newer associations that deal with environmental, nature and climate policy. The second case study deals with the participation of civil society in decentralised, self-organised formats with a focus on critical-creative milieus, e.g. in open labs, repair initiatives or urban gardening projects.

Methodologically, the project team uses  a document analysis, interviews, transdisciplinary workshops and (micro) real-life experiments. The aspects of process design, inclusion strategies, framework conditions and impact play a special role in the case study analysis. In addition, the IÖW team also contributes to the comparative analysis and synthesis of results across the case studies as well as in developing recommendations.

IÖW Project Team