Meaning of Participatory Democracy (What it is, Concept and Definition)

What is Participatory Democracy:

Participatory democracy is a system of political organization that gives citizens a greater, more active and more direct capacity to intervene and influence public decision-making.

In this sense, we can understand participatory democracy as a modern evolution of the direct democracy of Ancient Greece, where citizens, their voice and vote, had a real influence and specific weight in all public decisions in cities. State.

That is why participatory democracy assumes as one of its objectives that the citizen does not limit his role within the democratic system to the exercise of suffrage, as occurs in representative democracy, but rather assumes a leading, active and purposeful role within politics, both at the community, regional and national level.

In this way, one of the challenges of participatory democracy is to create a society made up of active, organized citizens prepared to assume a dynamic role in the political scene; individuals who, from school itself, are educated to participate in this political system.

Basically, the aim is to get citizens involved in the decisions that affect them, proposing initiatives, promoting assemblies and debates, speaking out in favor or against one measure or another, as well as monitoring and verifying its implementation.

Characteristics of participatory democracy

The ideal that the participatory democratic system promotes is that of a a more just, plural society with greater social inclusionwhich is recognized in the values ​​of consultation, tolerance and collaboration.

However, it is important to highlight the hybrid nature of participatory democracy (hence why some call it semidirect), since this, rather than constituting a system in itself, can be understood as a complementary practice of representative democracy to reinforce citizen participation.

Some Latin American countries, such as Venezuela or Colombia, call themselves their democratic system as participatory, although the consolidation of this model is still in process.

See also 7 fundamental values ​​in a democracy.

Participatory democracy mechanisms

In a participatory democracy, the citizen has various practical mechanisms of stakeExamples of these mechanisms are the formulation of initiatives, reforms or solutions in citizen assemblies or before executive or legislative bodies.

Other forms include the activation of consultation mechanisms, such as a referendum or plebiscite, either for the sanction or repeal of a law, or for the revocation of the mandate of a ruler.

Participatory and representative democracy

Participatory democracy is considered a direct way of giving citizens the mechanisms to exercise political power. On the other hand, representative or indirect democracies are characterized by granting political power to elected representatives through voting.

See also Representative democracy.

How to cite: “Meaning of Participatory Democracy.” In: Available in: https:///democracia-participativa/ Consulted: