Democracies have developed a sense of crisis regarding levels of civic engagement and their own legitimacy, prompting government initiatives to reform the institutions and procedures of liberal democracy to provide more opportunities for political participation and bring citizens back in.
"Participatory Democracy and Political Participation" provides the first systematic evaluation of most visible and explicit efforts to engineer political participation via institutional reforms. Policies of democratic reform aim to increase the level of political participation by implementing institutions of participatory democracy. Such policies are debated in established democracies as means to counter downward trends in political participation. However, there is little empirical evidence whether this approach is able to actually increase or sustain political engagement without compromising other values of modern government.
Case studies on the structure, the politics and the behavioral effects of concrete reform initiatives within various established European democracies. The leading contributors analyze participatory institutions on the basis of empirical models of democracy such as direct democracy, civil society and responsive government and analyze the impact of these models on political behavior in general.
Providing adetailed assessment of democratic reform, this book will be of strong interest to
students and researchers of political theory, democracy and comparative politics.
Jacob Aars is research director at the Rokkan Centre at the University of Bergen in Norway. His research interests cover local government, democratic theory, political representation and recruitment. Recent publications include co-authored articles in Scandinavian Political Studies (with Hans Erik Ringkjøb and with Anne Lise Fimreite).
Simone Baglioni is a research fellow at the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Previously, he has taught social capital and civil society at the University of Geneva and carried out research at the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies, Neuchâtel. He is the author of Societé civile et capital social en Suisse (2004) and has authored and co-authored publications on civil society and migration.
Neil Carter is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of York in the UK. His major research interests are in the areas of environmental politics, political parties and participation. Recent publications include The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy, Cambridge University Press (2001) and (co-edited with Arthur Mol) Environmental Governance in China, Taylor & Francis (forthcoming).
Dieter Fuchs is professor for political science at the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. His research foci are in political theory and empirical analyses of democracies.
Reuven Y. Hazan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. His research interests cover political parties and party systems, elections and electoral systems, and legislative studies. His most recent publications include Cohesion and Discipline in Legislatures: Political Parties, Party Leadership, Parliamentary Committees and Governance, Routledge (2006) and Reforming Parliamentary Committees: Israel in Comparative Perspective, Ohio State University Press (2001).
Grant Jordan is professor at the Department of Politics at the University of Aberdeen in the UK. His major research interests cover public policy making, interest group membership issues and influence. His most recent book is Shell. Greenpeace, and the Brent Spar, Palgrave (2001). Most recent articles appeared in (with D. Halpin) British Journal of' Politics and International Relation and Political Studies.
Peter McLaverty is reader in public policy at The Robert Gordon University in the UK. His main research interests are in the theory and practice of democracy and public participation. He is the editor of Public Participation and Innovations in Community Governance, Ashgate (2002).
William Maloney is professor of politics in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at the University of Newcastle in the UK. His main research interests are in the areas of interest group politics, social capital, political involvement and non-participation. He has published extensively in these areas and is currently completing a volume with Grant Jordan entitled Interest Groups and the Democratic Process: Enhancing Participation?, Palgrave (forthcoming).
Silvano Moeckli is associate professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and president of the Parliament of the Canton of St. Gallen. His major research interests cover direct democracy, demography and politics, and democracy assistance. His major recent publications include Die demographische Herausforderung. Chancen und Gefahren einer Gesellschaft lang lebender Menschen, Paul Haupt (1999) and an article in Zeitschrift fiir Politikwissenschaft.
Stig Montin is associate professor in political science at Orebro University in Sweden and a research fellow at the Centre of Urban and Regional Studies (CUReS). His main subjects of research are local and regional governance and democracy. His most recent publications include Moderna kommuner (Modem Municipalities), Liber Förlag (2004).
Sue Morris is director of MorrisRichards, an independent social research company based in Aberdeen, UK. She was senior lecturer in public policy at The Robert Gordon University from 2001 to 2004, and before joining RGU was principal researcher in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, responsible for political and legal research services for Scottish Parliament committees and MPs.
Gideon Rahat is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. His research interests include political parties, electoral reform and candidate selection methods. He has written or collaborated on articles that appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Electoral Studies, Party Politics and Political Studies.
Eric M. Uslaner is professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland-College Park (USA). He has written seven books, including The Moral Foundations of Trust, Cambridge University Press (2002), The Decline of' Comity in Congress, University of Michigan Press (1993) and The Movers and the Shirkers: Representatives and Ideologues in the Senate, University of Michigan Press (2002). His current research includes a book in progress, The Bulging Pocket and the Rule of Law, which examines the linkages among corruption, inequality and trust.
Thomas Zittel is researcher at the Mannheim Center for Social Science Research (MZES) of the University of Mannheim in Germany. His research interests cover normative and empirical theories of democracy, electronic democracy and political representation. Recent publications include (co-edited with Andre Kaiser) Demokratietheorie und Demokratieentwicklung, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften (2004) and articles in The Journal of' Legislative Studies, Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, and (with Eric Uslaner) in The Oxf'ord Handbook of' Political Institutions edited by Rod Rhodes, Sarah Binder and Bert Rockman.