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Discourse Construction by Non-Government Actors in Urban Regeneration Governance

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This paper employs critical discourse analysis to examine how Warsaw citizens (residents) perceived and organized the narratives of their participation in the governance of urban regeneration between 2004 and 2016 and how this evolved over that period. The study reveals citizens’ discursive practices, such as the construction of positive and negative identities of the relevant social actors, the binary opposition between ‘us and them’, the development of new interpretations of urban regeneration, and finally, the gradual elaboration of a model of empowered citizenship. Drawing on the concept of democratic urban regeneration policymaking, the research suggests that in the case of Warsaw, one can speak of a shift from a citizen discourse of rebellious participation in non-deliberative governance towards one of more consensual and empowering participation in more deliberative governance.