Initiatives to encourage and stimulate the involvement of citizens but also various societal organisations in decision-making can be seen in a wide variety of European countries. Citizens panels, citizens charters, new forms of participation and other forms are being used to increase the influence of citizens on decision making and to improve the relation between citizens and elected politicians. In the Netherlands a lot of local governments have experimented with interactive decision-making that is enhancing the influence of citizens and interest groups on public policy making. Main motives to involve stakeholders in interactive decision making are diminishing the veto power of various societal actors by involving them in decision making, improving the quality of decision making by using information and solutions of various actors and bridging the perceived growing cleavage between citizens and elected politicians. In this article six cases are being evaluated. The cases are compared on three dimensions: - the nature and organisation of participation - the way the process is managed (process management) - the relation with formal democratic institutions These organizational features (both in terms of formal organization and in terms of actual performance) are being compared with the results of the decision-making processes in the six cases. The article shows that the high expectations of interactive decision-making are not always met. It also shows that managing the interactions- in network theory called process management- is very important for achieving satisfactory outcomes.

Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Department of Public Administration

Edelenbos, J., & Klijn, E.-H. (2006). Managing stakeholder involvement in decision-making. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (Vol. 16, pp. 417–446). doi:10.1093/jopart/mui049