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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Crafting new democratic spaces: participatory policy-making in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Authors:Hicks, Janine
Buccus, ImraanISNI
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:political participation
popular participation
civil society
regional government
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/transformation/v065/65.1hicks.pdf
Abstract:This paper looks at the question of whether new democratic spaces can be crafted to enable marginalized groups to engage with policy processes from an empowered position. It explores this question within the context of provincial executive governance in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This exploration is grounded in the belief that ordinary people have the right to participate in the decisionmaking processes that affect their lives, and that informed policymaking leads to better policy, that is more responsive to community needs. The paper presents an emerging participatory model in KZN, acknowledging some of the inherent challenges and tensions. It considers literature on different forms of democracy, and assesses challenges faced in engaging with citizens and drawing them into processes of governance. It draws on field-based research into existing mechanisms to facilitate public participation in policy processes in KZN, and the experiences of civil society organizations in attempting to engage with these. It examines access to and representation of civil society organizations in participatory initiatives, and the nature and design of participatory spaces themselves, building on literature in this regard, and issues raised in action-research processes. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]