Quo Vadis – Citizen Participation in Germany


Even though the discourse about citizen participation in Germany is influenced by the international context, it contains some specific German peculiarities. For example, in Germany there is a strong interdependence between the protest culture, the public discourse about democracy, and scientific research activities. This dependence has had a very strong impact on the participative structures in Germany. This article considers how these three social spheres have developed since the 1950s. While some parts of the German society were in favor for more citizen participation, the development of this idea took almost 50 years to spread. Today there is almost a unison demand for it not only within the public but also across all relevant parties. In this context, the article addresses some current discourses about the realization of participative processes in Germany. Finally, promising approaches and currently open questions, which might be important in the future, are discussed.