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Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde x Jaar 2011 x
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De democratische waarde van burgerparticipatie: Interactief bestuur en deliberatieve fora1

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2011
Trefwoorden Citizen participation, democracy, democratic innovations, participatory governance, deliberative forums
Auteurs Ank Michels
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Whilst embedding democratic innovations that increase and deepen citizen participation in decision making now is a common policy of governments in many countries, and theorists in democratic theory also tend to emphasize how good citizen participation is to democracy, the empirical evaluation of democratic innovations is still a rather unexplored area of research.

    This article evaluates two types of democratic innovations, participatory governance and deliberative forums in the Netherlands and a large number of other Western countries. The findings show, for both types of innovation, that citizen participation contributes to the quality of democracy in several ways. The analysis also makes it clear that different designs produce different democratic effects, which also reflects tensions between democratic values; participatory governance projects are better at giving citizens influence, whereas deliberative forums appear to be better at promoting the exchange of arguments. Also, whereas cases of participatory governance are more open than deliberative forums, representation is higher for the deliberative type of cases. As a consequence politicians and policy makers can have a major impact on democracy; by choosing for a specific design of citizen participation they may encourage certain aspects of democracy more than others.


Ank Michels
Dr A.M.B. Michels is universitair docent bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht.
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