Volume 1, Issue 2, 2007

Review:  The Next Form of Democracy
by Matt Leighninger

Reviewed by Carol Cole

For IAP2 members who have worked since the organisation was founded to advance the practice of public participation, Matt Leighninger’s The Next Form of Democracy provides a refreshing perspective on struggles that are all too familiar. I found both refreshing and hopeful Leighninger’s argument that American democracy is moving away from expert-driven, top-down policy-making to ‘democratic governance’—a new stakeholder-government relationship that involves many members of the ‘general public’ in developing policies and making decisions.  In the case studies the author uses to tell his story—he draws on his own experience as a facilitator who has worked with communities striving to resolve complex issues—practitioners will quickly recognise challenges they themselves have encountered.