chapter  3
Evaluating new vs old forms of citizen engagement and participation
ByDAVID BEETHAM
Pages 13

This chapter offers a different perspective on the evaluation of democratic innovations from those in the rest of the volume. Instead of an internal comparison, whereby innovations are assessed against one another by common criteria, such as their representativeness, deliberative range and political impact, this chapter offers an external comparison, against an age-old mode of citizen engagement, that of the citizen-initiated campaign or demonstration. There are two reasons for doing this. One is to test, and also extend, the criteria for assessing innovations, by including a wider range of forms of citizen engagement for evaluation. The second reason lies in the danger that, by concentrating exclusive academic attention on democratic innovations, we overlook or downplay forms of citizen engagement that may be both politically and democratically more significant.