Institutions of Civil Participation In the Working of Public Administration
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Instytut Socjologii Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2020-06-07
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2003;5:37–50
124 institutions such as advisory councils, commissions and committees existed within Polish central administration at the end of 2002. They were meant to contribute interests, points of view and information coming from beyond narrowly understood political system to the decision processes. Emergence of those institutions constitutes an important element of institutional change in Polish public administration, but - first of all - it is possible to understand them as an attempt to reduce the „deficit of legitimacy”, which is produced within the political system by institutions of representative democracy. It is also possible to interpret them as an effort to put into practice such ideas as discursive democracy, participatory democracy or associative democracy. Referring to the empirical data authors of the paper show, that there are no formal reasons, why institutions of participatory democracy functioning within structures of Polish public administration could not serve as effective channels to transfer the variety of interests to the decision making processes, to intoroduce alternative sources of information, and to build more extensive social consensus. They also show that critical arguments regarding those institutions are inaccurate. It remains that institutions of participatory democracy existing within structures of Polish public administration enable inclusion of various group interests and different sources of information into decision making processes regarding public policies.