Improving democratic governance through institutional design: Civic participation and democratic ownership in Europe

Jacob Torfing, Chris Skelcher

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In this article we provide a conceptual and argumentative framework for studying how institutional design can enhance civic participation and ultimately increase citizens' sense of democratic ownership of governmental processes. First, we set out the socio-political context for enhancing the democratic governance of regulatory policies in Europe, and highlight the way in which civic participation and democratic ownership is given equal weight to economic competitiveness. We then discuss the potential for institutionalized participatory governance to develop and its prospects for improving effective and democratic governance in the multi-layered European polity. We conclude by outlining a research agenda for the field and identifying the priorities for scholars working interactively with civil society and governments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRegulation & Governance
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)71-91
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • democracy
  • Europe
  • governance
  • institution
  • participation

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