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Participatory Democracy: History and Opportunities in the Digital Age

Student: Sergey Karpov

Supervisor: Rodion Belkovich

Faculty: Faculty of Law

Educational Programme: Legal History, Theory and Philosophy of Law (Master)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2020

This paper is concentrated on the analysis of participatory democracy and the possibilities for its' development opened by the information and communication technology. It is stated that the contemporary understanding of democracy differs from classical. It is noted that contemporary representative democracy is imperfect and has a number of problems posed by its' design and the lack of participation. The solution to these problems via the increase of public participation in policymaking is proposed. It is said that this increase should take place within the framework of participatory democracy. The participatory democracy's theoretical basis and details of realization based on C. Pateman, J.-J. Rousseau, J.S. Mill and G.D.H. Cole works are examined. The new understanding of participatory democracy as a process is proposed, the prerequisites of its' development in the form of functioning representative institutions are established. The examples of realization of participatory democracy's mechanisms are given: participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, New York and Paris, web based platforms for the participation in the city administration in Paris and Moscow, the mechanisms of involving people in the decision-making at the state level in Russia, Iceland and Switzerland. The prospects of participatory democracy due to the information and communication technology development, the possibilities of mass participation in the legislative work via the online platforms and the possible threats are analysed.

Full text (added May 13, 2020)

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