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Back to Panel Details
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Effects of Non-Electoral Participation in Local Politics

Democracy
Governance
Local Government
Political Participation
P078
Angelika Vetter
Universität Stuttgart
Joan Font
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Bas Denters
Universiteit Twente

Thursday 09:00 - 10:40 (04/09/2014)

Building: Boyd Orr Floor: 5 Room: C LT

Abstract

Contemporary democratic systems are increasingly supplementing representative institutions with opportunities for direct citizen participation. Moreover, under the banner of “Big Society” governments in the UK and other European countries want to rely more on citizens’ initiatives in the provision of public services and goods. Many of these direct forms of political engagement occur at the local level of government. In this workshop we explore the effects of such non-electoral forms of local political engagement. The effects of participation may be diverse. One dimension on which effects may be distinguished is the level at which effects occur: effects may occur at the level of the individual participant (A) or at the level of the political system (B). The second relevant dimension differentiates between effects on policies and political decisions (1) and effects on the attitudes and political orientations of citizens (2). On this basis it is possible to distinguish between four types of effects: A1) individual policy effects (e.g. a successful attempt to influence a decision), A2) individual attitudinal effects; B1) systemic policy effects (e.g. increased quality of political decisions or costs of decision-making); and B2) systemic attitudinal effects (e.g. specific and diffuse political support). In this panel we welcome papers that present results of empirical studies that deal with any such effects of non-electoral participation in local politics. To what extent do such participation effects occur and how can we explain such effects? In this panel we adopt a broad definition of local political participation that not only focuses on citizens’ activities aimed at voicing demands and needs vis-à-vis their local government but also includes direct problem-solving activities of citizens intended to solve collective problems in their neighborhood or community (so-called citizens’ initiatives or informal governance).

Title Details
What Makes for Successful Citizens’ Initiatives? View Paper Details
Effects of Participatory Innovations on Representative Democracy – Preliminary Findings View Paper Details
Dialogue Oriented and Direct Forms of Citizen Participation – So What? View Paper Details
Beyond the Participatory Process: Consequences in the Interaction Between Civil Society and Local Authorities View Paper Details