From Citizen Participation to Participatory Governance

Chris Aulich


Abstract

This paper identifies types of citizen participation in local government in Australia, in particular focusing on the past two decades when local government systems have been the focus of intense reform. The paper considers the extent to which contemporary views of participatory governance have taken root at local and sub-local levels and concludes that despite reforms intended to engage local citizens more in local government activity, citizen participation has yet to develop significantly into arrangements that reach the level of participatory governance. It also argues that for participatory governance to be further developed, leadership may often have to come from organisations outside institutional local government.

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