Participatory democracy

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Demokracja partycypacyjna and the translation is 100% complete.

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PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY – its essence is an active, in-person participation of citizens in creating public decisions. It consists in the fact that citizens participate in shaping public policy at every stage, i.e. planning, development and implementation. It is based on the assumption that the public is the owner of public resources and that it has the best knowledge of real needs and problems occurring in their environment, and it refers to the tradition of → direct democracy. The fundamental element of p.d. is the communication on the line of citizen – authority, because democracy in this model is based on decision-making with the participation of citizens. Features of p.d.: 1. involvement of non-state actors, i.e. citizens, non-governmental organisations, in the decision-making process, also directly; 2. monitoring, evaluation and control of activities undertaken by the administration; 3. partnership relations between the authorities and citizens; 4. citizens can take responsibility in public life; 5. it uses and combines the elements of direct and representative democracy. Thanks to p.d. public governance ceases to be reserved for the exclusive competence of public administration and it is also open to individual citizens. The world’s precursor of participatory democracy is Brazil, which was the first one to use the civic budget instrument in the city of Porto Alegre, where citizens decided to allocate a specific pool of public funds. The tools of p.d. include, for example, a → citizens’ budget, a → village fund, → social councils, cooperation with non-governmental organisations (→ social participation; participatory governance) [ E. Szulc-Wałecka ].

Literature: R. Górski, Demokracja uczestnicząca w samorządzie lokalnym, Poznań – Kraków 2003 ■ R. Górski, Bez państwa. Demokracja uczestnicząca w działaniu, Kraków 2007.