Keywords: Local Governance, Participation, Social Policies, Urban Policies
The article deals with the comparison of participation practices in Italy and France. It particularly refers to three policy fields: the politique de la ville in France, social policies, and the Contratti di quartiere in Italy. A similar aspect of the two national contexts is the attempt to overcome the traditional policy approaches and to tackle the citizens' disaffection regarding representative democracy. Yet in the Italian case the traditional institutional structure is characterised by the apparent paradox of 'too much State' and 'too little State'. Instead, the French case shows the strength of the puissance publique. After outlining the main features of the two contexts, the article focuses on the different frames, stakes and resources of participation. Some hypothesis are then discussed in particular regarding local dimension and organised civil society.