Research Committee # 5

International Political Science Association /  IPSA

RC 05 “Comparative Studies on Local Government and Politics”, Workshop on Local Political Participation - Call for papers


A Workshop focusing on new Instruments of political participation and new social movements „Political Participation and social movements“ is held at Stellenbosch University, (South Africa)  from 16.4. to 18.4.2009.

The Workshop is organized by IPSA’s (International Political Science Association) Research Committee 5 "Comparative Studies on Local Government and Politics”, Department of Political Science (Stellenbosch University) and African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (Western Cape University)“ .


New dialogical instruments of political participation were implemented firstly in developing countries such as participatory budgeting in Porto Allegre, Brazil. On the other hand new social movements  in the often weak electoral democracies become violent („brick or ballot“). Using international experiences  different channels for local political participation will be discussed. The new participatory instruments such as citizen juries, forums, participatory budgeting etc. will be presented. Are the new instruments one way to include citizen more effectively and to reinvigorate democracies.

South Africa’s constitution explicitly allows new participatory instruments. But political reality shows little evidence and implementation. The feasibility of new participatory instruments in South Africa will be discussed. Are there any alternatives to “brick or ballot“?


Accommodation and food will be covered by DAAD. Unfortunately the budget is not high enough to cover all traveling costs.



Please, email your proposal (if possible with a 100 word abstract) until
31.1. 2009 to Prof Norbert Kersting (, Stellenbosch University, Department of Political Science.