Today people are realising that the traditional ‘them’ and ‘us’ relationship between citizens and government is inadequate for solving public problems. The usual avenues for ‘consultative decision-making’ often waste public resources, create unproductive conflict, and fail to tap citizen potential.
So HOW can the public and private sectors work together more democratically and more effectively in tackling ‘people, planet, profit’ needs for sustainable development? Thanks to the American Study Circles‘ blog Democracyspace.org I found www.deliberative-democracy.net/ which gave me a really succinct overview of the concept. Read on…it’s great.
Deliberative democracy includes people of all races, classes, ages and geographies in discussion that directly affects public decisions. It strengthens citizen voices in governance.
The result? Citizens influence – and can see the result of their influence on – the policy and resource decisions that affect their daily lives and their future.
Public deliberation results in superior public education leading to better policies. There is increased public trust and reduced conflict when policy moves to implementation.
Working in groups as small as ten or twelve to larger groups of 3,000 or more, deliberative democracy simply requires that:
Though they come from diverse backgrounds, all advocate deliberative democracy as an approach to public policy-making and problem-solving.
Leaders involved in community-wide dialogue are extremely diverse and largely disconnected from one another. They include:
They are focused mainly on involving citizens in a particular issue or decision; they may not even think of their work as civic or democratic.
Deliberation projects – including both temporary organizing efforts and permanent citizen structures – are growing rapidly in North America, Western Europe, and many other parts of the world. Some efforts are exploring the enormous capacity of the Internet to distribute information, sustain far-flung networks, and make all kinds of expertise accessible to ordinary people.