In this talk Dr Ingmar van Meerkerk from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, will discuss the interaction between civic initiatives and governmental institutions.
Civic initiatives, as a new form of civic engagement, are on the rise in most liberal democracies. They are emerging in different domains, for example in the realm of urban and community development, health care and the energy sector.
Although the phenomenon of bottom-up civic initiatives or citizen self-organization is not new, historical research shows that the current rise can be considered as a new ‘wave’. In these new forms of civic engagement citizens organize themselves by informal and loosely structured organizations, which tend to be more issue-oriented and pragmatic. Furthermore, although civic initiatives are viewed as potentially interesting venues for democratic innovation and new forms of civic engagement, they also challenge existing institutions of representative democracy. They can lead to role conflicts of politicians, civil servants and local authority officers.
Given the various challenges of making civic induced interactive governance work, this talk will concentrate on the management of the interaction on both sides of the state-community boundary. Dr van Meerkerk will draw on literature and his previous research on boundary spanning to discuss the management of these interfaces between civic initiatives and traditional institutions of policy and politics.