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Author Biography

David López García is a doctoral student in the Public and Urban Policy Ph.D. program at The New School, in New York. He holds an MA in Comparative Public Policy from FLACSO, campus Mexico. He is a research fellow at the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) and the Global Urban Futures Project (GUF), at The New School. Before joining the doctoral program, David was in public service for eight years in positions raging from transparency and public participation advisor to the chief of staff at the Ministry of Planning and Evaluation of the State of Jalisco.

Abstract

This article entails a comparative study of municipal consultative councils in Guadalajara, Mexico, to explore the mediation styles employed by those in charge of conducting the councils’ deliberation, which I call Mediators of Deliberative Process (MDP). Through the construction of an indicator called Participants’ Perception of Success, the article evaluates the relationship between the mediators’ styles and the degree to which participants think that the consultative council (CC) has been successful in achieving its purported goals. The results suggest that 1) MDPs exert different levels of directiveness that change over the course of the mediation according to the type of decision-making under deliberation; 2) that participants have a higher perception of the CC’s success in the case where the MDP is an expert in the subject matter of the council, resorts to a more directive approach to mediation, and deliberation is more oriented towards the outcomes of the mediation; and 3) that participants perceive the CCs as successful spaces to communicate with public officials, but least successful in having an influence over public policies.

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