Participatory democracy and its forms at the local level in European countries

Available in Russian

Price 150 rub.

Author: Alexander Cherkasov

Keywords: citizens’ participation; decentralization of power; local communities; municipalities; neighborhood councils; participatory budgeting; participatory democracy; public life

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2021-6-15-33

Abstract

Рarticipatory democracy is usually analyzed in the context of modernization of the whole democratic system, considering the fact that social and political changes of recent decades and certain disappointments of the electorate in elections and the electoral process determine the necessity of wider citizens’ participation and the use of its new, more interactive forms. It is these forms that are intended to serve as a significant addition to traditional democratic mechanisms and contribute to the modernization of existing municipal systems. There is a rather complex and dialectical relationship between participatory and representative democracy, and the former serves not so much as an alternative but as an important complement to the latter, though being able to give it some competition. Participative democracy is based on timely and constant informing of the population, although information alone doesn’t enable citizens to automatically influence the decision-making process. This requires a whole range of instruments of participatory democracy implemented with the support of the population and various segments of civil society. Participatory democracy can be bureaucratic and sometimes unstable. Various forms of participatory democracy are often initiated by municipal authorities themselves, thus setting certain permissible limits on participatory initiatives and letting organized interests and pressure groups that have sufficient resources to subordinate individual democratic forms to their needs come to the fore. Civic participation sometimes thus becomes not so much a means of modernizing the political system and a channel for introducing innovations, but rather a management tool. At the same time participative democracy remains the most important instrument of socialization of the population and for its involvement in solving local issues, as evidenced by the growing interest of citizens in different forms of this type of democracy. Under the influence of common processes of Europeanization and the introduction of new public management, local democracy is adapting to new challenges and modern realities (even by trial and error), and the search is underway for new ways of its development, previously narrowed by a one-sided emphasis on representative democracy.

About the author: Alexander Cherkasov – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Chief Research Fellow, Human Rights Department, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Cherkasov A. (2021) Partisipativnaya demokratiya i eyo formy na mestnom urovne v evropeyskikh stranakh [Participatory democracy and its forms at the local level in European countries]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 15–33. (In Russian).

References

Barthélémy M. (2000) Associations: un nouvel âge de la participation? Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.
Bergström T., Franzke J., Kuhlmann S., Wayenberg E. (eds.) (2021) The Future of Local Self-Government: European Trends in Autonomy, Innovations and Central-Local Relations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Best E., Augustyn M., Lambermont F. (2011) Direct and Participatory Democracy at Grassroots Level: Levers for Forging EU Citizenship and Identity? Maastricht: EIPA.
Blakeley G. (2010) Governing Ourselves: Citizen Participation and Governance in Barcelona and Manchester. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol.34, no.1, pp.130–145.
Borraz O., Le Galés P. (2005) France: The Intermunicipal Revolution. In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.12–28.
Chandler J.A. (2007) Explaining Local Government: Local Government in Britain since 1800, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Chisholm M. (2000) Structural Reform of British Local Government: Rhetoric and Reality, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Cole A., Raymond G. (eds.) (2006) Redefining the French Republic, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Costello R., Robinson N. (eds.) (2020) Comparative European Politics: Distinctive Democracies, Common Challenges, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Denters B., Klok P.-J. (2013) Citizen Democracy and the Responsiveness of Councillors: The Effects of Democratic Institutionalisation on the Role Orientations and Role Behaviour of Councillors. Local Government Studies, vol.39, no.5, pp.661–680.
Denters B., Klok P.-J. (2005) The Netherlands: In Search of Responsiveness. In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.62–82.
Denters B., Rose L.E. (2005) Local Government in the Third Millenium. In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1–11.
Dias N. (ed.) (2014) Hope for Democracy: 25 Years of Participatory Budgeting Worldwide, São Brás de Alportel: In Loco Association.
Fernández-Martínez J.L., García-Espín P., Jiménez-Sánchez M. (2020) Participatory Frustration: The Unintended Cultural Effect of Local Democratic Innovations. Administration & Society, vol.52, no.5, pp.718–748.
Gabriel O.W., Eisenmann S. (2005) Germany: A New Type of Local Government? In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.119–138.
Gabriel O.W., Keil S.I., Kerrouche E. (eds.) (2012) Political Participation in France and Germany, Colchester: ECPR Press.
Ganuza E., Baiocchi G. (2012) The Power of Ambiguity: How Participative Budgeting Travels the Globe. Journal of Public Deliberation, vol.8, no.2, pp.1–12.
Gastil J., Wright E.O. (2019) Legislature by Lot: Transformative Designs for Deliberative Governance, London; New York: Verso Books.
John P. (2006) Local Governance in Western Europe, London: Sage Publications.
Kiilakoski T., Gretschel A. (2014) Challenging Structured Participation Opportunities. Available at: https://pjp-eu.coe.int/documents/42128013/47261962/Kiilakoski-Gretschel.pdf/32f2bbd6-5eef-480f-9ba8-d5e27d2efb57 (accessed: 07.12.2021).
Klotz G., Radici L. (eds.) (2017) Democratic Innovation and Participatory Democracy in the Alpine Area: Comparative Report, Bolzano: Institute for Comparative Federalism.
Kómaromi L. (2015) Participatory Democracy: International and European Tendencies, Constitutional Framework in the Visegrad Countries, Hungarian Instruments and Experiences. Iustum Aequum Salutare, vol.XI, no.3, pp.31–66.
Kutay A. (2015) Limits of Participatory Democracy in European Governance. European Law Journal, vol.21, no.6, pp.803–818.
Loughlin J., Hendriks F., Lidström A. (eds.) (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morphet J. (2008) Modern Local Government, Los Angeles; London: Sage Publications.
No W., Brennan A., Schugurensky D. (eds.) (2017) Participatory Democracy, Civic Engagement and Citizenship Education, Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University.
Plees Y. (2005) Belgium: The Changing World of Belgian Municipalities. In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.47–64.
Schiller Th. (2018) Local Referendums: A Comparative Assessment of Forms and Practice. In: Morel L., Qvortrup M. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook to Referendums and Direct Democracy, Abingdon: Routledge, pp.60–80.
Schwab Ch., Bouckaert G., Kuhlmann S. (eds.) (2017) The Future of Local Government in Europe: Lessons from Research and Practice in 31 Countries, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
Sisk T.D. (ed.) (2001) Democracy at the Local Level: The International IDEA Handbook on Participation, Representation, Conflict Management, and Governance, Stockholm: International IDEA.
Smith G. (2005) Beyond the Ballot: 57 Democratic Innovations from Around the World, London: The Power Inquiry.
Swianiewicz P. (2005) Poland: A Time of Transition. In: Denters B., Rose L.E. (eds.) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.100–118.
Vlahos N. (2013) The Politics of Subnational Decentralization in France, Brazil, and Italy. Journal of Public Deliberation, vol.9, no.2, pp.1–27.
Warren M.F. (ed.) (2008) Designing Deliberative Democracy: The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.