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Overview - deliberative democracy and citizen empowerment (PLA 40)

Democracy without citizen deliberation and participation is ultimately an empty and meaningless concept. This understanding of politics, and many people’s desire to supplement the representation they receive via elected politicians, is often the starting point for a growing number of experiments and initiatives that create new spaces for citizens to directly influence decisions affecting their lives. These approaches aim to allow greater deliberation of policies and their practical implementation through the inclusion of a variety of social actors in consultation, planning and decision-making.

In the 1990s, such deliberative and inclusionary processes (DIPs) have been increasingly applied to the formulation of a wide
range of policies in countries of both the North and South. This special edition of PLA Notes focuses on participatory methods and approaches that seek to enhance deliberative democracy and citizen

This article was published in PLA 40: Deliberative Democracy and Citizen Empowerment (February 2001). Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics, students and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.

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Click on 'Additional information' to download the whole issue or individual articles for this issue of PLA.

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