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 30: Local democratic innovations in Africa

Isabel Ferreira and Giovanni Allegretti

Abstract

This chapter aims at analysing some trends related to initiatives promoting the participation of citizens in public life and governance in some African local contexts. These trends have been multiplying in several countries, in parallel to the progression of deconcentration and decentralisation efforts in the reshaping of the state. In the first part, the chapter focusses on some recurrent difficulties in the field of democratic innovations in the African continent. The second part, proposes a brief mapping of the use of democratic innovations across the continent, as an excuse to discuss some common trends and challenges related to the growth of a diverse range of hybrid and/or incomplete participatory processes. Finally, the authors try to provide some synthetic reflections on the difficulties of assessing the impact of these democratic innovations, and to draw some lessons from the previously mentioned families of participatory processes, looking for features that might inspire future paths.

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