Stakeholder and citizen roles in public deliberation

Department of Political Science, Auburn University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Public Deliberation, 2013, 9 (2 (Article 2)), pp. 1 - 37
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This paper explores theoretical and practical distinctions between individual citizens (`citizens) and organized groups ('stakeholder representatives' or `stakeholders for short) in public participation processes convened by government as part of policy development. Distinctions between `citizen and `stakeholder involvement are commonplace in government discourse and practice; public involvement practitioners also sometimes rely on this distinction in designing processes and recruiting for them. Recognizing the complexity of the distinction, we examine both normative and practical reasons why practitioners may lean towardor away fromrecruiting citizens, stakeholders, or both to take part in deliberations, and how citizen and stakeholder roles can be separated or combined within a process. The article draws on a 2012 Canadian-Australian workshop of deliberation researchers and practitioners to identify key challenges and understandings associated with the categories of stakeholder and citizen and their application, and hopes to continue this conversation with the researcher-practitioner community.
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