Participation – like justice or freedom – is a term that can be constructed in multiple ways. However, existing typologies of participation pay little attention to the alternative logics for public participation in policy decisions: either they assume one particular normative bias or categorise by institutional design features without reference to the broader ideology that informs the use of these designs. This paper outlines an alternative approach that connects the variety in participatory practices to competing theories of democracy and public administration. It identifies four archetypes of participation: knowledge transfer; collective decision-making; choice and voice; and arbitration and oversight.
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