Practices and challenges of citizen participation in local government

Case studies of mid-sized cities in Russia and the United States

Authored by: Sofia Prysmakova-Rivera , Elena Gladun , Thomas Bryer , Andrey Larionov , Dmitry Teplyakov , Olga Teplyakova , Natalia Nosova

The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138234727
eBook ISBN: 9781315306278
Adobe ISBN:


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Citizen participation is a vital tool of democratic governance; it not only communicates citizens’ interests and preferences to governmental officials, but improves government legitimacy, responsiveness, transparency, and accountability. The objective of this chapter is to explore some practices and challenges of local governments in promoting civic engagement in mid-sized cities in Russia and the United States. We identify through key stakeholder interviews potentially successful practices used in such settings. Among these are the participation of citizens in surveys, workshops for development applications, development of cities’ historical preservation plans and planning codes, engagement with diverse stakeholder groups, public chambers, territorial public-self-government, and business councils. Future research is suggested that can enhance understanding of civic engagement practices across both societies.

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