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What Explains Trajectories of Participatory Innovations in Comparative Perspective (EU)?

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Democracy
Interest Groups
Political Participation
Political Theory
Referendums and Initiatives
Social Movements
Brigitte Geißel
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Brigitte Geißel
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
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Abstract

Involvement of citizens, especially via direct democracy and deliberative procedures, is getting more and more widespread since the 1990s all over Europe. However, these countries show significantly different participatory developments: the number of rules, the pace of participatory legislature (‘how many rules passed how ‘fast’?’) and participatory preferences vary. We assume that these developments are not random, but follow certain, yet still unknown patterns. Therefore we favor the term ‘trajectory’. In our paper we will discuss how to identify participatory trajectories of European member states since 1990 and how to explain these trajectories. Three research strands provide instructive theoretical approaches for the explanation of participatory trajectories in Europe: research on participatory developments (1), on institutional change in general (2), and on European convergence (3). These three research strands have not been linked up to now. We will discuss, refine and combine the explanations and develop the theoretical model of Comparative Trajectorism. With the paper we intend to advance theoretical approaches in order to scrutinize participatory trajectories and help to understand institutional changes in general.