This article explores the emotional dimension of public participation. It contrasts the understanding of deliberative forums as spaces in which reasoned argument is intended to lead to good policy making, with the importance of values and emotions in motivating action within social movements. In the context of a widening of the participatory sphere and the increasing likelihood that social movement activists will also take part in officially sponsored participation initiatives, it considers the significance of the emotional content of experiences that service users and citizens bring to discussions about policy and service delivery. Drawing on a feminist ethic of care it suggests criteria for assessing the capacity of deliberative practices to encompass an emotional morality and to deliver on aspirations for enhanced well-being, welfare and social justice.
- ethic of care
- social movements