Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance
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Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar

Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. These new processes of public participation are reimagining the relationship between citizens and institutions. This Handbook advances understanding of democratic innovations, in theory and practice, by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world. The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality. The Handbook therefore offers a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice.
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Chapter 29: Democratic innovation in Australasia

Lucy Parry, Jane Alver and Nivek Thompson

Abstract

Diversity in political regimes and cultures across the region of Australasia demand a nuanced understanding of democratic innovation. In this chapter, we highlight prominent democratic innovations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Small Island Developing States. Whilst Australia has seen a proliferation of mini-publics commissioned by state and local governments, New Zealand has taken action at the national level in terms of representative innovation. In the Pacific region, it is civil society organisations that take the lead enhancing democracy, in the absence of well-functioning democratic institutions. This varied experience demonstrates that democratic innovation can and does occur at all levels of, and outside of, government institutions. We argue that this also presents a valuable opportunity for democratic learning across this region, with each example discussed here offering an important contribution to the practice of democratic innovation.

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