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Can Deliberative Democracy Work in Urban India?

1
Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
2
Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380054, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Simon Springer
Received: 29 March 2021 / Revised: 12 April 2021 / Accepted: 23 April 2021 / Published: 26 April 2021
India faces extensive challenges of rapid urbanization and deficits in human well-being and environmental sustainability. Democratic governance is expected to strengthen public policies and efforts towards sustainability. This article presents a study in Pune, India, which aimed at exploring perceptions about public participation in urban governance and the potential of high-quality public deliberation to meet deficits. The research reveals disaffection of the public with government decision-making and government-led participation. Further, it shows that people are interested in participating in community life and seek to be partners in civic decision-making, but find themselves unable to do so. The study illustrates that high-quality public deliberations facilitated by an independent third party can provide a satisfactory space of participation, learning, and developing balanced outcomes. Citizens expressed readiness for partnership, third-party facilitation, and support from civic advocacy groups. Challenges with regard to government commitment to deliberative democracy will need to be overcome for a purposeful shift from conventional weak to empowered participation of ordinary citizens in civic decision-making. We anticipate that while institutionalization of high-quality public deliberations may take time, civil society-led public deliberations may help raise community expectations and demand for induced deliberative democracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: deliberative democracy; participation; Pune; sustainability; local government; facilitation deliberative democracy; participation; Pune; sustainability; local government; facilitation
MDPI and ACS Style

Menon, S.; Hartz-Karp, J.; Marinova, D. Can Deliberative Democracy Work in Urban India? Urban Sci. 2021, 5, 39. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5020039

AMA Style

Menon S, Hartz-Karp J, Marinova D. Can Deliberative Democracy Work in Urban India? Urban Science. 2021; 5(2):39. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5020039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Menon, Sanskriti, Janette Hartz-Karp, and Dora Marinova. 2021. "Can Deliberative Democracy Work in Urban India?" Urban Science 5, no. 2: 39. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5020039

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