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Attitudes towards citizen participation in the local decision-making process: a comparative analysis

Dubravka Jurlina Alibegovic

Suncana Slijepcevic 

A very important pillar of democracy is the involvement of citizens in the political decision-making process. The change from "government" to "governance", which has been also noticed in the literature, implies a greater involvement of different stakeholders in the decision-making process and in the process of public policy implementation. Citizens'participation in the process of public services delivery may lead to better public services, which comply with the needs of citizens, better decisions, higher quality and more efficient collaboration in using public money for public services.

This research empirically tests attitudes towards greater citizens' involvement in the decision-making process at the local level. We compare attitudes of local councillors in 16 countries divided according to the expanded Hesse-Sharpe (1991) typology. The analysis is based on the result of a survey conducted among local city councillors. We examine different mechanisms of citizen participation in the decision--making process from the comparative perspective. Our research showed voting to be the most preferable mechanism for public participation in all groups of countries, while citizens' juries are the least preferable mechanism for citizen participation. This research contributes to filling the research gap concerning the role and the importance of citizens'participation in the decision-making process in Europe.

Dubravka JURLINA ALIBEGOVIĆ, 

Sunčana SLIJEPČEVIĆ The Institute of Economics, Zagreb

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