At the start of the 21st century, there is a dramatic revival in emphasis on local democracy.
This renewed interest in the principles and procedures of democratic governance at the level closest to the people is in some ways a return to the foundations of democratic theory and practice. Direct citizen involvement is the basis of community spirit and health. It is the right of all citizens to voice opinions and grievances, and it is the duty of political leaders to be accountable in regular elections and to respond to public deliberation and dialogue. In local civic arenas, the meaning of democracy—rule by the people—is given life and form.
This Handbook offers practical tools for strengthening local democracy. It provides citizens and policymakers with ideas and options to enhance the meaning and quality of local democracy, and examples of how these ideas and options have been implemented around the world.
Organized in six chapters and written by experts from around the world, the Handbook includes practical suggestions for designing systems of local governance; principles and policies for managing culturally diverse cities; choices for enhancing local elections and representative democracy; options for expanding citizen participation; and recommendations for the international community for enhancing local democracy.
The Overview is also available in print.
1. Concepts, Challenges, and Trends
2. Designing Systems for Local Democracy
3. Diversity and Democracy
4. Enhancing Electoral Democracy
5. Expanding Participatory Democracy
6. Promoting Local Democracy in the Twenty-first Century