Improving democratic governance through institutional design: Civic participation and democratic ownership in Europe

Authors


Chris Skelcher, Institute of Local Government Studies, School of Government and Society, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. Email: c.k.skelcher@bham.ac.uk

Abstract

In this article we provide a conceptual and argumentative framework for studying how institutional design can enhance civic participation and ultimately increase citizens' sense of democratic ownership of governmental processes. First, we set out the socio-political context for enhancing the democratic governance of regulatory policies in Europe, and highlight the way in which civic participation and democratic ownership is given equal weight to economic competitiveness. We then discuss the potential for institutionalized participatory governance to develop and its prospects for improving effective and democratic governance in the multi-layered European polity. We conclude by outlining a research agenda for the field and identifying the priorities for scholars working interactively with civil society and governments.

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