The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
Under the slogan “Future Needs Solidarity. Diversity Creates Chances.”, the BürgerForum 2011 did not address any specific problem or problems; it rather allowed participating citizens to identify problems as well as solutions they deem most pressing for German society. The purpose behind this approach is three-fold. Firstly, initiators hoped to inspire citizens to be more excited about politics and democracy and instill a sense of community within participants.
Various federal departments and agencies of Canada funded the ChoiceWork Dialogue to learn more about their citizens’ expectations of governments, the private sector, and their communities. The goals that Canadian societies seek to achieve are detailed in a “social contract.” When leaders planned for post-war policies after World War II, a primary result was the birth of a welfare state. By the 1970s, government revenue was unable to sustain the dependent system. The outcome was major changes to trade and economic policy.
An online consultation or e-consultation is the use of electronic computing and communication technologies in consultation processes. Online consultations can be effective tools in encouraging participation and gathering responses to consultation documents and social policy issues as part of a broader range of methodologies. This form of participation has no minimum or maximum amount of individuals who can participate. It also usually allows participants the freedom of selecting what time to engage in participation and how often.
This case study features a citizens' deliberation using the Dialogue Cirlces method to address inequities in the educational system derived from racism and poverty. This deliberation produced action ideas for various community groups, the successfully-enacted Early Childhood Care and Education Act, and efforts to pass amendment to the New Mexico constitution that would increase state funding for early childhood education.