Can Democratic Innovations Improve the Quality of Democracy?
Democratic innovations have become a buzzword in recent years. In academic research, politics and the media, they have been heralded as a solution to the crisis of democracy. However, there is still very little comparative research on these new institutional designs for citizen participation. Without empirical knowledge, the question whether participatory innovations may enhance democracy remains a normative one.
The LATINNO Project (Innovations for Democracy in Latin America) is the first comprehensive and systematic attempt to comparatively assess the existing institutional designs for citizen participation across a large number of Latin-American countries and over a long period of time. Relying on a new theoretical framework, the LATINNO Project has collected and assessed various quantitative and qualitative data regarding the context, institutional design, and impact of around 2,400 cases of democratic innovations in 18 Latin American countries between 1990 and 2016. These innovations involve deliberation, direct-voting, e-participation and new forms of citizen representation. The dataset seeks to disclose the different means of citizen engagement as well as the different ends they may serve, namely accountability, responsiveness, political inclusion, social equality and the rule of law.
The LATINNO Project is coordinated by Thamy Pogrebinschi at the WZB and funded by the Open Society Foundations.
More information: www.latinno.net
Research Unit Democracy and Democratization
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
latinno [at] wzb.eu