How democratic innovations realise democratic goods. Two case studies of area committees in the Netherlands

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Participatory planning is becoming increasingly integral to governance. Numerous planning innovations are developed which aim to increase democratic legitimacy and improve decision making. This paper critically reflects on a typical Dutch innovation: the area committee. Based on two individual case studies, we investigate whether area committees realise democratic legitimacy in existing planning practices. Analytically, we focus on four democratic goods: inclusiveness, popular control, considered judgement and transparency. Based on the interdependencies between area committees and government structures we discuss the potential and dilemmas for the area committee to contribute to the democratic legitimacy of environmental policy and rural development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1014
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • governance networks
  • changing-role
  • legitimacy
  • participation
  • management
  • citizen
  • state
  • partnerships
  • framework
  • policy

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