Chapter 8Using Public Participation to Enhance Citizen Voice and Promote Accountability

Tina Nabatchi, Jack Alexander Becker, and Matt Leighninger

Theorists of and commentators on American public life are concerned that the foundations of citizenship and democracy are crumbling (for a discussion, see Nabatchi, 2010). Some point to a growing “citizenship deficit,” which refers to the erosion of civil society and civic engagement, and to declines in the civic skills and dispositions (such as political efficacy, voter turnout, and trust in government) of the general public. Others describe a growing “democratic deficit,” which refers to the divide between citizen opinions and preferences and political decisions and policies. As evidence, they ...

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