Political participation takes place through a wide array of pathways. In representative democracies we tend to first think of elections and voting, but many people engage politically in other ways as well, be it through demonstrations, local initiatives, petitions or interest representation. What connected the diverse range of participation forms is that they all act as vehicles for citizens and institutions to interact.
That is most obvious when we look at the institutions that make up the political apparatus of the state. Citizens vote for representatives to take seats in parliament and petitions collected by people fir a particular cause may be handed over to government agencies. But we also see societal institutions engaged in this interplay. When people in a community come together to organise provisions jointly, they redefine the role of the community itself and how decisions about the life within it may be made.
At d|part we are study the dialogue between institutions and citizens and how it changes in different contexts of political participation. We are interested in examining how elites that may control certain institutions think about and engage with publics and vice versa. Furthermore, we explore how civic organisation by people can change societal structures – which can have further implications for political institutions.