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This case study features Conseils de quarter, or "neighborhood councils," which are infra-municipal participatory forums that serve as consultative bodies mandated by law in French cities with more than 80,000 residents.
In respect to the question of why participatory innovations are gaining support and what stimulates their development, democratic innovations are usually seen as a response to the general dissatisfaction with representative democracies. Since their main target is to supplement democracy and improve its quality, both citizens and governments in the West tend to be interested in participatory innovations.
This case study was written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), in 2001 as part of an independent consultancy for the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.