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Democratizing InequalitiesDilemmas of the New Public Participation$
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Caroline W. Lee, Michael McQuarrie, and Edward T. Walker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479847273

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479847273.001.0001

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Rising Participation and Declining Democracy

Rising Participation and Declining Democracy

(p.3) Chapter 1 Rising Participation and Declining Democracy
Democratizing Inequalities

Edward T. Walker

Michael McQuarrie

Caroline W. Lee

NYU Press

This book explores how public participation fosters severe structural inequalities that limit the potential for true democratization. It examines the implications of new participatory innovations for the exercise of authority and governance as well as the practices that sustain and undermine democracy. It considers the institutional interests in public legitimation through participation and the highly unequal context in which elite-facilitated civic innovations, known as the “new public participation,” have taken root. It also looks at how participatory democratic practices (or those that invoke this tradition) have evolved from their origins in civil society organizations to a diverse set of institutional homes and how this transition shapes participatory dynamics. This introductory chapter places participation in a historical context and discusses how participation might produce and sustain inequality. It also provides an overview of the chapters contained in this book.

Keywords:   public participation, democratization, authority, governance, democracy, civic innovations, new public participation, civil society, inequality

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