Citizens’ participation in policy-making: [in Europe]

Lucy Grimshaw, John Lever

Research output: Working paper


This working paper explores different approaches to engaging citizens in policy- making across EU member states. The paper is based on the objectives of WP14 and will focus on the following issues:

• The relationship between representative and participatory democracy;
• The relationship between different forms of deliberative democracy and the extent to which different forms engage and are responsive to citizen voice;
• Optimal ways of engaging citizens and the relative merits of individual and collective approaches in ‘empowering’ citizens to engage;
• What is realistic to expect and how to engage citizens at different levels – incentives and motivation;
• How citizen views are channelled and represented in partnership forums, issues about gate-keeping and accountability;
• Tensions between cohesion and diversity – how diversity of citizen’s voices is mediated and particularly how usually excluded groups are heard;

The paper initially emerged from the papers delivered at the first WP14 workshop at UWE in Bristol in February 2007. The conference brought together a range of academics and practitioners from mainly EU countries. 40 papers were presented focusing on international research on citizen participation. Diverse issues were discussed including key concepts in participation and democracy, impacts of participation, urban regeneration and planning, participatory budgeting, elite relations, tensions, diversity and conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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