Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance
Verso, Paperback, 9781859844663, 310pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2003
The institutional forms of liberal democracy developed in the nineteenth century seem increasingly ill-suited to the problems we face in the twenty-first. This dilemma has given rise in some places to a new, deliberative democracy, and this volume explores four contemporary empirical cases in which the principles of such a democracy have been at least partially instituted: the participatory budget in Porto Alegre; the school decentralization councils and community policing councils in Chicago; stakeholder councils in environmental protection and habitat management; and new decentralised governance structures in Kerala. In keeping with the other Real Utopias Project volumes, these case studies are framed by an editors’ introduction, a set of commentaries, and concluding notes.
Erik Olin Wright is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of many books, including "Classes," "Interrogating Inequality," " Class Counts," "Deepening Democracy" (with Archon Fung), and "Envisioning Real Utopias." For more information on Envisioning Real Utopias and the Real Utopias project, and to access book content, please visit realutopias.org (site in progress).
Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in New Jersey. He is the author of five books, including the novels "Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto," "A Heaven of Others," and "Witz." Cohen's essays have appeared in "The Forward," "Nextbook," "The Believer, " and "Harper's." He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Joel Rogers is Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Director of COWS. His many books include" On Democracy," "Right Turn," "The Forgotten Majority," and "What Workers Want." A longtime activist, Rogers was identified by "Newsweek "as one of the 100 Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.
“As we lose sight of alternatives, there is no more important political and theoretical task than to develop real utopias, real in that they are based on existing institutional experiments, utopian in that they challenge ruling ideas of the epoch. In Deepening Democracy, the latest volume in the Real Utopias series, Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright have brought together cases of what they call ‘empowered participatory governance,’ cases in which popular political participation becomes a vehicle for equity and efficiency. From Chicago public education to panchayat reform in Kerala, from habitat conservation in the United States to participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, we have case studies that enable Fung and Wright to think through the practical problems of real democracy. This is an inspirational political critique but at the same time a program for critical politics.”—Michael Burawoy
“Erik Wright has made a towering contribution to the thought of the left over a quarter of a century. This arises from his own intellectual contribution ... but also from his tireless work in identifying issues, bringing people together, and encouraging them to publish their results.”—Science and Society