What are the Barriers to Local Democratic Renewal?
The authors critically examine the participatory democracy approaches trialled by the UK Labour government in the late 1990s.
Bringing in the community to advise and decide on public service delivery was done as a means of improving both accountability and effectiveness in service delivery at the local level.
Drawing on experiences from a range of other contexts, the authors highlight some of the obstacles to achieving effective community participation in practice.
They include capacity weaknesses and lack of expertise among community organisations and service providers, a lack of interest in participation among many community members, and difficulties in managing conflicts and inequalities at the local level.
Thumbnail image: UK Parliament. Martin Robson/Flickr