Democracy From Above

11Sep

At their best, democracies hold public officials accountable and reflect the will of the people. For countries with less mature democracies, national governments will sometimes mandate that local and state governments provide institutions that allow for citizen participation. Can this top-down approach to democracy improve civic engagement, or will it just provide a smoke screen for corrupt officials? What circumstances would lead a country to enact such reforms? In this episode, Stephanie McNulty of Franklin and Marshall College discusses the background behind mandatory participatory reforms featured in her upcoming book "Democracy From Above? The Unfulfilled Promise of Nationally Mandated Particpatory Reforms."