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Democracy and ExpertiseReorienting Policy Inquiry$
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Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.001.0001

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Citizen Participation and Deliberative Governance: The Problems of Knowledge and Complexity

Citizen Participation and Deliberative Governance: The Problems of Knowledge and Complexity

Chapter:
(p.48) 2 Citizen Participation and Deliberative Governance: The Problems of Knowledge and Complexity
Source:
Democracy and Expertise
Author(s):

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.003.0003

This chapter turns to citizen deliberation — understood to be the normative core of civic engagement — and outlines it's worrisome decline in Western democratic societies. It does this by way of asking if most citizens can meaningfully deliberate policy issues in the modern age of complexity. And if they cannot, should we be talking about a more participatory, deliberative form of democracy? Pointing to various practical experiences, the question is answered affirmatively, but the difficulties involved in extending participation are underscored. After discussing the implications of contemporary theories of citizenship and governance for participation, the chapter concludes by arguing that there is nothing obvious or straightforward about participation. In important ways, it has to be facilitated, even nurtured.

Keywords:   public deliberation, citizen participation, civil society engagement, citizenship, policy complexity, political skills, participatory governance

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