9781859844663 / 1859844669

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About the book:

One of the great ironies of our time is that the triumph of democracy in much of the world has been accompanied by increasing scepticism that the liberal democratic institutions we inherited from the nineteenth century can address the social and economic crises of the new millennium. Those institutions emphasize government for the people while sacrificing government of the people and by the people. Do these crises lead inexorably to privatization, deregulation, and retreat from the affirmative state? Or, do they create opportunities to invent new political forms that realise the deeper democratic ideal of government of and by, as well as for, the people? This volume explores four contemporary empirical cases of empowered participatory governance that treat the latter, more hopeful, course: the participatory budget in Porto Alegre; decentralized school councils and community policing groups in Chicago; stakeholder planning in environmental protection and habitat management; and new participatory governance structures in Kerala, India. In the style of the other Real Utopias Project volumes, these case studies are framed by an introductory essay that lays out the central principles of empowered participatory governance, a set of commentaries on the cases and these principles, and a concluding essay.

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