Understanding political participation
in The search for democratic renewal
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The New Social Democracy in its variant forms in both Australia and Britain is experimenting with the ideas of participation, democracy and consultation. This chapter examines the oscillating place of participation in democratic theory and traces how social democratic thinking seeks to reconfigure citizenship. It examines competing normative claims about the rightful role of political participation and civic engagement in wider democratic (and social democratic) theory. A useful starting point for understanding the role of political participation and civic engagement has been to focus on the typologies of engagement. The central feature of these typologies is that the power is dispersed along a continuum, from minimum to maximum citizen input. L. Pratchett, in his evaluation of the new modes of civic participation, uses a framework based on D. Beetham's pioneering democratic audit work in the United Kingdom.

The search for democratic renewal

The politics of consultation in Britain and Australia

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