The active involvement of citizens in the co-creation of public initiatives has been embraced by the European Commission as a relevant topic on its reform agenda. In this line, citizen participation emerged as one of the main criteria for nominating the European Capitals of Culture (ECoCs). However, there are still few systematic studies that seek to investigate the challenges, the problems, and the difficulties that are associated with the processes aiming to foster and establish citizen participation. Hence, in this paper we address the following research question: What are the conditions for developing an effective participatory process in ECoCs? We propose an exploratory approach by analysing the case study of Matera ECoC 2019. Following the triangulation of data, information has been collected from a wealth of both secondary sources of evidence and primary sources, in order to analyze a range of opinions and perspectives. Our inquiry provides a twofold contribution to this stream of research. First, we propose a simple yet comprehensive framework to analyse participation in the context of participatory cultural initiatives. Second, we enrich the empirical evidence by providing an in-depth analysis of an ECoC project from the launch of the idea, to its first implementation phase.
Demartini, P., Marchegiani, L., Marchiori, M. (2020). Culture Invites Participation. An Inquiry on Matera as European Capital of Culture 2019. In M. Piber (a cura di), Management, Participation and Entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Sector. (pp. 161-186) [10.1007/978-3-030-46796-8_9].