Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

Handbook cover

We’re really excited to present the Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance, co-edited by Stephen Elstub and I, featuring 38 chapters by 60 authors covering this field of research and practice around the world

The book includes six sections:

  1. Types of democratic innovation
  2. Democratic innovations and the democratic malaise
  3. Actors in democratic innovation
  4. Democratic innovations in policy and governance
  5. Democratic innovations around the world
  6. Research methods for the study of democratic innovation

There are two open access chapters offering an overview of the book, you can read and share for free here:

An introduction to the field of democratic innovation

And a chapter defining and typologising democratic innovations

Thanks to contributors & supporters working with us for 3 years. We share the hope that the book satisfies curiosity & inspires action. Can 2020 turn around the democratic recession by reimagining political life? This is the challenge & opportunity of our generation!

E-books available to purchase from:

Elgar Publishing

Google Play

eBooks

Vital Source

Hardback edition for institutional libraries

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Community Planning after the Community Empowerment Act

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Open access to the Report and Executive Summary.

Community planning partnerships are a central platform for local governance in Scotland. They are key vehicles to drive public service reform in line with the 2011 Christie Commission, and to improve local democracy and equality as proposed by the COSLA Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy and as articulated in the 2015 Community Empowerment Act. This places community planning workers at the frontline of delivering effective processes of collaboration and participation in policymaking and public service delivery. This new report offers an overview of key dynamics, challenges and accomplishments from the perspective of community planning officials across the country. The survey took place in 2018, two years into the implementation period of the Community Empowerment Act, and therefore reflects some of its early impact on local governance and community planning practice (using our 2016 survey as a baseline).

 

Participatory Budgeting in Scotland: The story so far

The open access ebook Hope for democracy: 30 years of participatory budgeting worldwide is the largest collection of articles about participatory budgeting (PB) on a global scale.

One chapter outlines key lessons from the Scottish experience so far. Participatory budgeting in Scotland: The interplay of public service reform, community empowerment and social justice was co-written by members of the PB Working Group, which works with civil society and the Scottish Government to inform and advance the development of PB.

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The authors highlight how PB has become central to policy action that aims to advance community empowerment and public service reform. The chapter shows the importance of the interplay between civil society and government in opening a window of opportunity for this democratic innovation.

They conclude that the mainstreaming of PB which is now under way in Scotland, carves up space for more complex participatory participatory and deliberative processes to decide on core local government budgets. However, for PB to make a substantial difference in the lives of citizens and communities, democratic innovators (i.e. politicians, activists, public servants) across Scotland will have to overcome challenges related to culture, capacity, politics, legitimacy and sustainability.

For more information about PB in Scotland, visit the WWS website.

Report: Transforming communities? Exploring the roles of community anchor organisations in public service reform, local democracy, community resilience and social change

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This report explores the developing roles of key community sector organisations known as community anchors. It draws from six exemplar anchor organisations to explore their roles in engaging with, leading and challenging public service reform; how public services and the state can better support community anchors and community sector development; and the potential roles of anchors in building local democracy, community resilience for sustainable development, and wider social change.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT