, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 666–682

Participation, Representation, and Social Justice: Using Participatory Governance to Transform Representative Democracy

  • Brian Wampler
Symposium Article

DOI: 10.1057/pol.2012.21

Cite this article as:
Wampler, B. Polity (2012) 44: 666. doi:10.1057/pol.2012.21


The direct incorporation of citizens into complex policy-making processes is the most significant innovation of the “third wave” of democratization in the developing world. Participatory governance (PG) institutions are part of a new institutional architecture that increases the connections among citizens and government officials. This article draws from a single case of PG to explore how its particular mechanisms work to transform representative democracy. In the cases examined here, PG institutions are grafted onto representative democracy and existing state institutions. These are state-sanctioned venues that require the intense involvement of citizens and government officials, without which the programs would grind to a halt. These features can expand citizen participation, enrich political representation, and enhance social justice.



Copyright information

© Northeastern Political Science Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Wampler
    • 1
  1. 1.Boise State University