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Citizen Engagement and participation in policymaking.
Is of public deliberation a crucial component of a responsible and responsive and democracy?
Citizen Participation in policy making of a state is a significant aspect of democracy in the contemporary governance. A good number of theorists have come with claims that allowing citizens to participate in policymaking has positive effects on a healthy democracy of a state (Carpini et al. 5). Citizens play a vital role in that they provide information on the decision making because any ruling affects them directly. Citizen participation has numerous advantage on the quality of democracy: citizens feel responsible for public developments, offers diverse opinions to listen to, a higher degree of the legitimacy of decisions is achieved. Public participation has its negative effects too: all groups are not always represented and forceful implementation of ideas that are only beneficial for a group involved (Michels et al. 3).
Public participation is one of the milestones of democracy and a democratic government. Participatory democracy offers a mechanism in which people are involved in the governance process (Babooa 5). Public participation can be best implemented in local government because they are closest to the people. Public participation ensures principles of democracy like the majority rule, political equality, popular consultation, and popular sovereignty (Babooa 5).
Open policy making is a better way of establishing a relationship between citizen and the government. Citizens become a valued partner in the identification of a problem, critically discover new thinking and solution proposed to the problem. The approach is a departure from the traditional way of public engagement whereby government first made decisions and inform the public upon implementation. In most cases, the open policy calls for debates in the community. However, the ultimate responsibility for leadership remains in full charge of the government officers and the civil service (Carpini et al.).
Public participation gives a government an opportunity of applying effective strategic thinking; this involves integration ideas generated from different groups who share different values and belief system.
Public participation is not that easy process though. The process calls for the involvement of different mechanism and opinions which are achieved by conducting meetings. The targeted groups are given a platform to share their opinions on policy. Consequently, the government shares its views with the public through documentation to the target groups for reviews. The public also highlights their fundamental areas of public policy (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
Civil engagement s makes citizens more competent. The government works with voluntary associations like schools, in which citizens learn civic skills and duties. Participants get an opportunity of learning on how to debate on public issues. Citizens are acquainted with civic virtues in the process. Also, Democrats argue out that, public participation is a way of promoting citizen power. Citizen power is the ability of citizens to meaningfully engaging their leaders, policymakers with intentions of ensuring that their voice is heard. citizen power is exercised in three capacities: A Physical power which calls for physical participation. It involves activities like working for the government, protesting the government in case of bad leadership or boycotting of products and services (Renn Ortwin et al). the passive power of citizens does not require citizens’ direct power action. It involves activities like filing of a petition in the court of law against leadership or writing of letters of complaint to demand information (Renn Ortwin et al). Lastly, Fiscal power involves actions of financial resources. This is best exercised through payment of taxes and approving government expenditure (Macintosh).
Citizens involvement part in policymaking is of high priority. Policy problems and the intended decisions limit the role of individual citizen’s involvement in policymaking (Bishop et al.). The main reason citizens take part in public opinions is to defend their opinions and those they represent. It is, therefore, their primary role of the citizen to provide information and make relevant suggestions to the government (Marzuki,). As much as citizens view themselves to provide information to the government, there is another institution of the state that provides information about the police force. They work closely with local governments in finding solutions to policy problems (Smith Graham).
Procedural justice has a developed perception of citizens on legitimacy. A fair legislative process is the one that allows public participation. The public voice is significant in decision making. This results in informed and relevant political decisions. Public consultations on deliberative polls provide the policymakers with a defined collective and informed opinion. Such forums participation said in political learning as it provides for the opportunity of response interpretation.
In conclusion, citizen participation in policy-making leads to quality democracy. Public participation is a way of establishing a relationship between citizen and the government; citizens are the real partners to a government. citizens assume a responsibility for public developments, also, public participation offers diverse opinions for a government to listen to and choose from. a higher degree of the legitimacy of decisions is achieved through open policies. It is advisable to always consult the public on political opinions.
Scholarly Sources used
Bishop, Patrick, and Glyn Davis. “Mapping public participation in policy choices.” Australian Journal of public administration61.1 (2002): 14-29.
Carpini, Michael X. Delli, Fay Lomax Cook, and Lawrence R. Jacobs. “Public deliberation, discursive participation, and citizen engagement: A review of the empirical literature.” Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 7 (2004): 315-344.
Macintosh, Ann. “Characterizing e-participation in policy-making.” System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on. IEEE, 2004.
Marzuki, Azizan. “Challenges in the Public Participation and the Decision Making Process.” Sociologija i proctor/Sociology & Space 53.1 (2015).
Michels, Ank, and Laurens De Graaf. “Examining citizen participation: local participatory policymaking and democracy revisited.” Local Government Studies 43.6 (2017): 875-881.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Citizens as Partners: Information, consultation and public participation in policy-making. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001.
Renn, Ortwin, et al. “Public participation in decision making: A three-step procedure.” Policy sciences 26.3 (1993): 189-214.
Smith, L. Graham. “Public participation in policy making: the state-of-the-art in Canada.” Geoforum 15.2 (1984): 253-259.
MEASUREMENT/DATA/METHOD: You will write about MEASUREMENT. How are you measuring your variables? If you are using SURVEY DATA then you are measuring them with survey questions. What are these questions? How reliable and valid are these questions? How do you know? Describe the conceptualization and operationalization of the variables. Be very specific. If you are using measurements that have been tested already, then say so. Cite appropriately.
Rubric: Measurement of variables is clear (conceptualization and operationalization): 10 pts Discussion of reliability of measures: 5 pts Discussion of validity of measures: 5 pts (minimum 250 words)
Next, you will describe what METHODOLOGY you are using to test your hypothesis. For example, will you rely on SURVEY RESEARCH? Will it be an EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN? USE OF AVAILABLE DATA? Will you rely on CONTENT ANALYSIS? Will it be FIELD WORK? Maybe COMPARATIVE CASE STUDIES? Think about this and then describe the procedure of your methodology. For example, if you are using survey research, what is your SAMPLE? How did you come up with that sample? If you are using an EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN, walk us through the design, what will the subjects will be doing? Were they RANDOMIZED to control and experimental groups? What is the control group doing while the experimental group has the treatment? What are threats to internal and external validity? (minimum 500 words)
Rubric: Clear methodology (that makes sense, given the hypothesis): 10 pts Description of procedure of methodology: 5 pts Discussion of internal and external validity: 5 pts (minimum 250 words)
For the DATA section: with experimental designs and survey designs (surveys that you create), the “data” section will be combined with the “method” section since you are discussing the collection of ORIGINAL data. If, however, you are relying on another data set (USE OF AVAILABLE DATA), then talk about the data and the methodology that the organization used to collect that data (cite appropriately).
Rubric: Clear discussion of data as either original collection or use of available data: 5 pts Discussion of the limitations of data used: 5 points (minimum 200 words)