The role of social participation in the concept of good governance - a theoretical approach

Mał Zakrzewska, Manfred Ahn, Jorge Biglieri, Jelena Zascerinska, Norbert Gruenwald


Nowadays, the concept of good governance plays a central role in debates in the area of social sciences in general and in the field of public administration in particular. The concept has been used frequently but often with quite different meanings and implications, moreover, one should underline the significant role of social participation in this concept as it involves citizens assessing their own needs and participating in local projects. Therefore, for social participation, transparency of government information is needed, as well as the inclusion of members in the decision-making process. Excluding the weak and powerless from decision-making is a cause of poverty because it denies them rights and creates unequal power relationships. This paper discusses a variety of meanings and different approaches to the role of social participation in the concept of good governance but its main focus is on the capacity of government to make and implement social participation policies and, thereby, develop knowledge based economies based on active participation of citizens and their well-developed bridging social capital.


governance, good governance, social participation, bridging social capital

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