Journal - January 2010 - Ren - Meister
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IJP2 - Volume 4, Issue 1 - January 2010

Special Symposium Issue "Obama Administration and Public Participation"

Drawing Lessons from Obama for the European Context

Julie Ren, Hans-Peter Meister


 Abstract. Obama’s public engagement strategies in the United States have the potential to shape institutional reform in European political contexts. Citizen engagement as a driver for reforming the governance of European and/or German institutions could be a powerful implication of Obama’s political influence in other countries. To gauge and this evaluate this likelihood, both the potential to learn from United States citizen engagement as well as the limitations of its application will be considered. Using a practitioner approach grounded in experience implementing European and German participatory deliberation processes, the authors bring lessons from the European context while considering the relevance of specific tools used in the campaign and the White House. Which social media and fundraising instruments are relevant for European politics? What is the Obama experience attempting to institutionalize citizen participation so far and what can European politicians learn from this? There is sparse literature on designing public participation strategies from the international perspective. This writing sheds light on the governance implications for the European context, and concretizes these implications beyond the theoretical discussion.

 Keywords: Obama, deliberative democracy, Europe, Germany

 Citation: Ren, J., & Meister, H. (2010). Drawing Lessons from Obama for the European Context. International Journal of Public Participation, 4(1), 12-30.