083: Participatory governance with Daniel Decaro

In this episode, Michael spoke with Daniel Decaro, associate professor at the University of Louisville with a joint appointment in the Department of Urban and Public Affairs and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Daniel has conducted experimental research on the effects of participation and enforcement on collective-action. Based on this work, he has developed the concept of participatory fit. This represents the idea that there is cultural variation in how people perceive their basic needs of autonomy and procedural justice being met through a participatory process, and therefore mechanisms of participatory governance must adapt to fit with this variation. What is authentically participatory for one person may not be for another. Daniel and Michael also talked about the relationship that participation has to collective-action and enforcement, based on a finding from DeCaro et al. (2015) that the effects of participating and enforcement are synergistic, producing increased cooperation when combined with each other.

Daniel’s website: https://louisville.edu/psychology/d-decaro


DeCaro, D., and M. Stokes. 2008. “Social‐psychological Principles of Community‐based Conservation and Conservancy Motivation: Attaining Goals within an Autonomy‐supportive Environment.” Conservation Biology: The Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology.

DeCaro, Daniel A., and Michael K. Stokes. 2013. “Public Participation and Institutional Fit: A Social-Psychological Perspective.” Ecology and Society 18 (4).

DeCaro, D. A., M. A. Janssen, and A. Lee. 2015. “Synergistic Effects of Voting and Enforcement on Internalized Motivation to Cooperate in a Resource Dilemma.” Judgment and Decision Making.

DeCaro, Daniel A., Marco A. Janssen, and Allen Lee. 2021. “Motivational Foundations of Communication, Voluntary Cooperation, and Self-Governance in a Common-Pool Resource Dilemma.” Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, no. 100016 (July): 100016.