Informations and abstract
Deliberative democracy can be defined as a decision-making process in which (i) participants exchange impartial arguments about common good, and (b) all those affected by the decision have equal access. Both aspects were experienced in a process, held in the Province of Turin, where local communities were involved in a decision concerning the siting of two facilities for waste treatment (an incinerator and a landfill). The process lasted 17 months and ended with an agreed choice. The article presents the main features of the process and then discusses some theoretical issues emerging from that experience: actors constellation in a Nimby case, deliberation and problem definition, deliberation and the problem of access, building a deliberative setting, interests and arguments in the deliberative process, multicriteria analysis as a tool for deliberation, deliberation and social capital, political actors and the deliberative process. The analysis helps focusing aspects that theoretical investigation often overlooks: the importance of mediation and of a very structured process. It shows also that trust among people can be easily built, if they are put in a deliberative setting in which all their arguments are taken seriously into account.