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Christopher F. Karpowitz and Chad Raphael

This chapter assesses the state of democratic innovations in North America, including the United States, Canada, and English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. We begin by setting these innovations in the contexts of democracy on the continent, which includes both established democracies and countries that have only recently decolonised. We go on to discuss major trends in democratic innovations over the past two decades in North America, including referendums and initiatives, mini-publics and collaborative governance, and digital participation in political and civic life. We note the broad range of issues addressed by these innovations and their effects on democratic institutions at different levels of governance. Finally, we draw several lessons and ideas for reform from the uneven impacts of democratic innovations in North America.