Participation requests: a democratic innovation to unlock the door of public services?

Hayley Bennett, Oliver Escobar, Clementine Hill O’Connor, Evgeniya Plotnikova, Artur Steiner

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Abstract

Democracies are under pressure and public administrations must evolve to accommodate new forms of public participation. Participation processes may reproduce or disrupt existing power inequalities. Through a multi-method empirical study of "Participation Requests," a new legislative policy tool to open up public services in Scotland, this article addresses an empirical gap on governance-driven democratic innovations (DIs). We use Young's distinction of external and internal inclusion and find Participation Requests replicate the pitfalls of traditional forms of associative democracy. We contend that DIs should be co-produced between institutions and communities to bring a participatory and deliberative corrective to temper bureaucratic logics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-628
Number of pages24
JournalAdministration & Society
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date17 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • collaborative governance
  • democratic innovations
  • governance-driven democratization
  • participation requests
  • public service reform

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