Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered by Joshua Cohen, Erik Olin Wright, Archon Fung, Rebecca Neaera

By Joshua Cohen, Erik Olin Wright, Archon Fung, Rebecca Neaera Abers, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Patrick Heller, T. M. Thomas Isaac, Bradley C. Karkkainen, Rebecca S. Krantz, Jane Mansbridge, Joel Rogers, Craig W. Thomas

Volume IV of the genuine Utopias venture. Contributions via Rebecca Abers, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Joshua Cohen, Patrick Heller, T.M. Thomas Isaac, Bradley Karkkainen, Rebecca Krantz, Jane Mansbridge, Joel Rogers, Craig W. Thomas.
The institutional varieties of liberal democracy built within the 19th century appear more and more ill-suited to the issues we are facing within the twenty-first. This problem has given upward thrust in a few locations to a brand new, deliberative democracy, and this quantity explores 4 modern empirical instances during which the foundations of one of these democracy were a minimum of partly instituted: the participatory price range in Porto Alegre; the varsity decentralization councils and group policing councils in Chicago; stakeholder councils in environmental security and habitat administration; and new decentralised governance buildings in Kerala. in line with the opposite actual Utopias undertaking volumes, those case experiences are framed through an editors' advent, a suite of commentaries, and concluding notes.

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PART II Case Studies 2 Participation, Activism, and Politics: The Porto Alegre Experiment* Gianpaolo Baiocchi** The experiment in participatory governance in Porto Alegre, Brazil stands apart from many other similar attempts to institute civic governance in Brazil and Latin America. Its breadth and scope distinguish it from other efforts, past and present, that simply do not involve as many persons or, more commonly, do not devolve as much decisionmaking power to popular mandate. Its central institutional feature of utilizing neighborhood-based deliberation also sets it apart from participatory governance schemes that rely on organized civil society through sectoral interfaces, for example by calling upon teachers to consult on education policy.

Locally dominant left-wing political parties sustain both the Indian village governance reforms and Porto Alegre’s participatory budget. Officials there have claimed credit for the success of these experiments and subsequently based their political fortunes upon the continuation of these experiments. Conventional politicians and bureaucrats thus became the handmaidens of deliberative-democratic transformation by mobilizing elite and popular support for the expansion and reproduction of these experiments.

It is not a universal reform strategy. In many areas of public life, conventional systems of guardianship, delegation, and political representation work well enough, or could be improved so as to be optimal. To take one small example, injecting more parental power and participation in already well functioning wealthy suburban school systems might lead to conflict and wasted energy that serves neither parents, students, nor educators in the long term. EPG would also be inappropriate where current institutions perform unsatisfactorily, but where direct participation would add little to problem-solving efforts.

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