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Involving Citizens in the Decisions of Government and Community: Neighborhood-Based vs. Government-Based Citizen Engagement

PAQ, Vol. 30 No. 2, (2006)

The era of the global economy brings societal challenges that
demand systems solutions to the concerns of community, including
citizen engagement and coproduction. Survey research involving more
than 1,800 citizens from a Midwestern urban community is used to help
local government understand citizens’ views of the merits of two very
different approaches to citizen engagement. One approach uses
organizations that are extensions of the arms of government to promote
efficient communication between citizens and government. The second
approach employs grassroots neighborhood-based organizations that
are assumed to be advantaged at encouraging coproduction.
Neighborhood-based organizations were found to be the people’s
choice for purposes of communication and bringing citizens together
for collective solutions to the concerns of the community.

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