The Ambiguous Relationship between Participation and Public Policies

Democracy and Participation: A Review of Existing Knowledge
By Laurence Bherer

The objective of this article is to present an overview of studies on public participation in the field of public administration and policy (PAP). Although public participation could potentially change the context in which public policy actors operate, PAP has shown relatively little interest in this new phenomenon. The analyses are primarily devoted to: (1) discussions and recommendations on the need to reform public administrations and the role that public participation could play in these reforms; and (2) typologies of the various kinds of participation mechanisms. The article identifies areas where theories on PAP could prove especially helpful.


  • public participation
  • public policy
  • public administration
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