The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs

Living Edition
| Editors: Phil Harris, Alberto Bitonti, Craig S. Fleisher, Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz

Democratic Innovation

  • Michele SoriceEmail author
Living reference work entry


The term democratic innovation covers all procedures aimed at facilitating and increasing citizens’ access and political participation, which are realized both through institutions specifically designed to increase public participation and through bottom-up experiences capable of providing connections to institutional practices in policy-making and political decision-making processes.

A modern definition of democratic innovation should be inclusive and sufficiently flexible to consider both the forms of institutional reshaping promoted by public institutions themselves and the cases of democratic participation promoted by citizens’ associations and/or social movements that only subsequently – and usually through articulated forms of conflict and bargaining – undergo an institutionalization process.


The concept of democratic innovation entered the international political and academic debate at the beginning of the twenty-first century, although in the seventies...


Political participation Policymaking Mini-publics Crisis of representation Participatory budget 
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Further Reading

  1. Elstub, S., & Escobar, O. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of democratic innovation and governance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Elstub, S., & McLaverty, P. (2014). Deliberative democracy: Issues and cases. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Geissel, B., & Newton, K. (Eds.). (2012). Evaluating democratic innovations. Curing the democratic malaise? London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Smith, G. (2009). Democratic innovations: Designing institutions for citizen participation. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political SciencesLuiss UniversityRomeItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alberto Bitonti
    • 1
  1. 1.Università della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland