Quest for Participatory Democracy
Democracy is presented as an ideal form of government where freedom and justice are institutionalized through constructive interdependence. But, there is also increasing disenchantment with systems of representation and forms of government, in the context of the democratizing societies, due to a number of systemic flaws in them. Around the world, numerous aspects of representative democracy have received criticism, such as: the high cost of elections, opportunism of the power elite, corruption in high office, factionalism and hierarchy in the political parties, benign neglect of collective actions and social movements, the alienation of women and minorities, the declining significance of citizens in the affairs of the state, etc. In India, the idea of participatory democracy was central to Gandhi's political thinking and practice. Leaders - such as M.N. Roy, Jayaprakash Narayan, and Rammanohar Lohia - also advocated it at different forums. This collection of papers - written by academics and scholars in India - promotes dialogue about the dynamics of democratization. It looks at the growing concern about the limits of representative democracy as manifested at several sites of democracy building around the world. It explores major challenges in the quest of participatory democracy.
Publication Date: 12/31/2010