A ‘new politics’ of participation?

Elizabeth Meehan and Fiona Mackay

in Everyday Life After the Irish Conflict

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780719087288
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781704561 | DOI:
A ‘new politics’ of participation?

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This concluding chapter takes up points in the introductory one about the popular component of constitutional democracy since wider participation had a high profile in devolution politics in the UK – most fully developed in arguments in Scotland for reform. But effective and meaningful participation can be far from easy to achieve. This chapter outlines efforts in Northern Ireland to try to bring about forms of inclusive policy-making, notably through the short-lived Civic Forum and the statutory duties in the Northern Ireland Act 1998. In drawing some comparisons with Scotland, the chapter assesses the depths of popular participation in the two devolved systems. The overall finding is that, while high expectations in Scotland for a more participatory polity have been somewhat disappointed, there have been some positive changes there, but that the situation in Northern Ireland may be less promising.

Keywords: Participation; Inclusive Politics and Policy-Making; Consultation; Equality; Consensus-Building

Chapter.  6361 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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