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Home arrow Political science arrow Evaluating Democratic Innovations: Curing the Democratic Malaise?

Information, consultation and deliberation

The wish to improve political knowledge, awareness and capacities, and to meet increasing demands for consultation between government and citizens, has resulted in many innovations, including: deliberative forums; consensus conferences; planning cells; scenario workshops; study circles; electronic notice boards and information; democracy kiosks; civics and citizenship courses; citizenship mentors; citizen panels, juries, focus groups and forums; denizen (residents, as opposed to citizens) councils; electronic means of finding others with similar political agendas and contacting others and promoting common action; consultation and interactive consultation; deliberative polling and online deliberative polling; petitions and e-petitions; shared mandates; civic service; rotating civic office.


Falling somewhere between direct democracy and consultation, co-governance involves direct citizen (and often organized group) involvement in the activities of the state. It includes: participatory budgeting; citizen assemblies; neighbourhood development; village and community councils; community policing experiments; and health, education and planning boards.

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