Attitudes towards Citizen Participation in the Local Decision-Making Process: A Comparative Analysis

Dubravka Jurlina Alibegović, Suncana Slijepčević


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.


citizen participation; local councillors; local public services; local development

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Copyright (c) 2018 Suncana Slijepcevic, Dubravka Jurlina Alibegovic

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096