A Transactional Approach of Participatory Development of Societal Indicators: The Method of the Council of Europe

By Michel Renault


This article is dedicated to innovative approaches regarding the association of citizens in the production of alternative indicators. It is based on a test of the methodology proposed by the Council of Europe, which is aimed at developing well-being indicators in a participatory way to qualify well-being and societal progress. The article proposes an analytical shaping of this approach, and more generally of the efforts to involve citizens in indicators production processes. Our framework, which can be described as transactional, is based on American pragmatism, especially on J. Dewey’s works. Such an approach invites an examination of the communicative processes that underlie the formation of values. This implies reconsidering the nature of the data used to understand well-being and to develop indicators. The article also focuses on structuring phenomena that can affect the participatory processes. JEL Codes: A13, B41, B52, I31, Z13


  • indicators
  • well-being
  • pragmatism
  • transactional approach
  • participatory democracy
  • quantification
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