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By Usman Khan

Participation past the poll field is a great addition to the literature on democracy and the position of civil society. It demonstrates that new mechanisms being brought in Western Europe can and do provide the aptitude to seriously improve the democratic strategy.

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For example, parents might be given vouchers to pay for the education of their children in school. The parents would be free to use the vouchers at any school of their choice, provided the school was prepared and/ or able to accommodate the child. 1 The public involvement matrix. particularist, for parents would be encouraged to think simply in terms of what was best for their individual children. However, in addition, schools might establish “user” boards, an initiative which would be collective and particularist, for reasons given above.

People become involved in the working of the organization to influence events, rather than moving around the market. 26 PETER MCLAVERTY The two views of empowerment are discrete, although it is possible, as Burns et al. argue, to envisage the two approaches working in combination. In broad terms, the first approach is individualistic and the second is collectivist. The two approaches relate to Hirschman’s distinction between exit and voice. It is worth considering Hirschman’s work in this area, for his approach helps to clarify the two approaches to empowerment outlined by Burns et al.

Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf. CHAPTER TWO Towards a Model of Public Participation Peter McLaverty Introduction There have been moves in a number of European and other advanced capitalist societies in recent years to devolve government functions in addition to or as an alternative to increasing citizen participation in public affairs. Many of those initiatives have been underpinned by the aims of managers in the public sector to maximize community support for the policies they ultimately implement and to improve the standard of services provided.

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