Informations and abstract
Keywords: Political participation, inclusion, deliberative democracy, empowerment, engagement.
In the last decade, many local governments are experimenting a new institutional innovation: the institutionalization of citizens inclusion in public choice. In their perspective, democracies must be more inclusive, they must give citizens new opportunities to get involved in politics. How? By giving citizens real political power not through the referendum, but through the introduction of new inclusive discursive processes in the traditional representative system, processes that make citizens participate directly and dialogically to public decisions. Inclusive innovations can be classified in two groups, according to their conception of inclusion: deliberative inclusion (citizens juries, consensus conferences, Planungszelle, XXI Century town meetings) and civicracy (participative urban planning and participatory budgets). These two idealtypes of inclusion are similar in their premises, but they diverge in the logic and aims of citizens political inclusion. Recent studies demonstrate that both kinds of inclusion can better democracy by reducing the level of conflict and uncertainty and increasing the level of accountability, responsiveness and social capital. Nevertheless, there is empirical evidence that shows how much delicate these processes are. They need a strong and impartial design, in order to avoid serious problems, like social inequality, political manipulation and the banalization of the political agenda.