Julien Talpin is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France), member of the Research Center onAdministration, Politics and Society (CERAPS/University Lille 2). He received his PhD from the European University Institute (Florence), wherehe completed a dissertation on the individual and collective consequences of engagement in participatory democracy institutions. Comparing from anethnographic perspective three deliberative experiments, he followed the participants for several years and shows how difficult the process of empowerment is, especially for low-income and minority groups. It hasbeen published at ECPR Press, 2011, Schools of Democracy. How Ordinary Citizens (Sometimes) Become Competent in Participatory Budgeting Institutions. Hehas since then been involved in several research projects on democratic innovations deliberation, e-participation in Europe, developing a qualitative, socially and historically grounded perspective onparticipatory democracy. He is the co-editor of the journal Participations. His research has more recently focused on broader forms politicization processes and infra-political arenas of engagement indisadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Visiting scholar at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012-2013, he investigates the different styles of community organizing in the US. Revisiting classical sociological themes, from the iron law of oligarchy to deliberationamong unequal participants and the professionalization of civic life, his research indicates that such grassroots and adversarial efforts manage toinclude low-income residents and achieve substantial policy outcomes, but do not easily allow for the nurturing of new community leaders.
Research interests : participatory democracy, deliberation, community organizing, empowerment, political ethnography