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Democracy, Growing Up: The Shifts that Reshaped Local Politics and Foreshadowed the 2008 Presidential Election

Citizens are better at governing, and less willing to be governed, than ever before. So says Matt Leighninger of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, in his 2009 paper for Public Agenda's Center for Advances in Public Engagement (CAPE). Matt's paper, Democracy, Growing Up: The Shifts that Reshaped Local Politics and Foreshadowed the 2008 Presidential Election, looks at the impact of this change as well as new public actors and problem-solvers. In his 2006 book, The Next Form of Democracy: How Expert Rule is Giving Way to Shared Governance--And How Politics Will Never Be the Same, Matt Leighninger analyzes the quiet revolution in democratic governance that has been occurring in hundreds of communities over the past two decades. In this piece, Leighninger updates his main argument that a shift in citizen attitudes and capacities has caused new tensions between citizens and government, produced new public actors and problem-solvers, and inspired a new generation of civic experiments. Download the paper at www.publicagenda.org/cape.

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