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Deterring Fake Public Participation

Fake public participation is widespread in United States government and in governments all over the world. Since fake public participation undermines true public participation, good government advocates should work to deter it. Fake public participation is a subset of fake democracy and occurs for the same reason: we live in an era when democracy is the only legitimate form of government, so the incentive to fake participation is great. To deter fake public participation, the nature of the problem should be recognized followed by the development of a detailed set of public policy recommendations to address it. Proposals to improve public participation, like the Obama administration’s Open Government Directive, should be carefully scrutinized for loopholes allowing fake participation.

Keywords: public participation, democracy, Obama, Open Government Directive

Citation: Snider, J. H. (2010). Deterring Fake Public Participation. International Journal of Public Participation, 4(1), 89-103.

Downloadable at www.iap2.org/associations/4748/files/Journal_10January_Vol4_No1_7_Snider_FakePublicParticipation.pdf.

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  1. Marc Brenman Says:

    This is an interesting statement: “we live in an era when democracy is the only legitimate form of government.” So all the other forms of government in the world are not legitimate? I am an enthusiast for democracy, but would hesitate to say that it’s the only legitimate form of government. That de-legitimizes many (most?) of the national governments of the world. If one believes that, how is one to have dialog and deliberation with them?

  2. J.H. Snider Says:

    Those interested in the growing prestige and legitimacy of democracy might be interested in Michael Mandelbaum’s Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government. For a brief treatment more in tune with the scholarly mainstream, see Andreas Schedler’s “Authoritarianisms Last Line of Defence” in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Democracy.

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