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Book of the Day: Democratic Innovations

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
29th June 2013


“At a time when citizen participation is considered – at least in theory – an important part of the open government movement, those working in this sphere should pay particular attention to different methods of participant selection (e.g. self-selection, randomized) and what the prospects and limits for each of these different methods are. An awesome read on this subject is the book Democratic Innovations by Graham Smith. Among other things, Graham looks at the impact that different institutional designs (and methods of selection) have on the inclusiveness of participatory experiences.” – Tiago Peixoto

* Book: Democratic Innovations. Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation. by Graham Smith. Cambridge University Press, 2009

The publisher explains:

‘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 2009 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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