Building: VMP 5 Floor: Ground Room: 0077
The operation of local government in European countries is primarily based on representative democracy. Nevertheless, its institutional setting has somewhat changed in response to the lowering public interest in the traditional ways of political engagement. Furthermore, in the 1990s numerous countries decided to implement governance-like reforms. The trend influenced the ‘standard-account’ of representative democracy in at least two ways. Firstly, new actors and stakeholders that emerged on local arenas started to make representative claims and to serve representative functions beyond democratically elected representatives. Secondly, institutional setting has been enriched with democratic innovations, vastly based on participative and deliberative solutions. The new participative framework effects legitimate institutions that represent and decide in the name of the local community. This panel addresses the issue of intertwining values and institutions of representative and participative democracy. It also aims to enrich the knowledge about citizens' attitudes towards both frameworks of civic engagement. Therefore, we welcome studies referring to:
- institutional settings of civic engagement in local decision-making;
- tensions between representative democracy and active citizenship;
- ways of merging values of representation and participation;
- citizens’, local representatives’ and public officers’ attitudes towards institutions of local participation;
- representation of underrepresented – activity of women, minority groups etc. at the local level;
- bottom-up or top-down movements towards participation-based institutional solutions.
The panel welcomes mainly empirical and comparative contributions, however, there is also space for more theory-oriented papers.