Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation

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Overview

Can we design institutions that increase and deepen citizen participation in the political decision-making process? At a time when there is growing disillusionment with the institutions of advanced industrial democracies, there is also increasing interest in new ways of involving citizens in the political decisions that affect their lives. This book draws together evidence from a variety of democratic innovations from around the world, including participatory budgeting in Brazil, Citizens' Assemblies on Electoral Reform in Canada, direct legislation in California and Switzerland and emerging experiments in e-democracy. The book offers a rare systematic analysis of this diverse range of democratic innovations, drawing lessons for the future development of both democratic theory and practice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Overall, the analysis is quite clear and convincing...Recommended."
-CHOICE, A. Siaroff, University of Lethbridge

"The discussion of each [institution] is thorough, detailed, and logical, allowing the reader not previously familiar with the institution to easily follow the argument... Smith's book offers a through review and thought-provoking discussion."
Political Science Quarterly, Maria Escobar-Lemmon, Texas A&M University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521730709
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Series: Theories of Institutional Design Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Smith is Professor of Politics in the Centre for Citizenship and Democracy at the University of Southampton.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Studying democratic innovations: an analytical framework 8

2 Popular assemblies: from New England town meetings to participatory budgeting 30

3 Mini-publics: assemblies by random selection 72

4 Direct legislation: direct democracy through the ballot box 111

5 E-democracy: the promise of information and communication technology 142

6 Realizing the goods of democratic institutions 162

Conclusion 194

References 202

Index 217

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