2010 volume 28(5) pages 783 – 802

Cite as:
Yetano A, Royo S, Acerete B, 2010, "What is driving the increasing presence of citizen participation initiatives?" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 28(5) 783 – 802

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What is driving the increasing presence of citizen participation initiatives?

Ana Yetano, Sonia Royo, Basilio Acerete

Received 7 July 2009; in revised form 27 January 2010

Abstract. Nowadays there is an imperative for governments to be more responsive to community needs, and public sector modernisation programmes are introducing opportunities for citizen participation. We look at citizen participation initiatives through the lenses of institutional and stakeholder theories. Using survey data and exogenous variables we analyse experiences in thirty OECD and MERCOSUR local governments. We find that the possible gains in legitimacy and trust explain the efforts made towards citizen participation. In addition, the different levels of commitment towards meaningful citizen participation suggest that factors such as power and urgency can be complementary to legitimacy when analysing citizen participation.

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