Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

From Political Won't to Political Will: Building Support for Participatory Governance

Carmen Malena, editor
From Political Won't to Political Will: Building Support for Participatory  Governance
ISBN: 978-1-56549-312-4
ISBN: 978-1-56549-311-7
2009/310 pages/LC: 2009019066
A Kumarian Press Book

"This book will have great value for activists and policy-makers as well as students of democratic governance, for it illuminates the ingredients of successful change even in the face of resistance from powerful interests."—L. David Brown, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University


Citizens in both the North and the South lack opportunities, rights, and access to information and have expressed growing disillusionment with their governments. Ordinary citizens (especially women, poor people and other marginalized groups) are largely excluded from the political processes that directly affect their lives.

There is now growing consensus that good governance is participatory governance (PG), but public officials are often reluctant to adopt such an approach. From Political Won’t to Political Will addresses the particular challenge of encouraging these officials to involve citizens in the political process. Representing the perspectives of both civil society and government actors, the contributors propose a number of strategies and lessons such as demonstrating the benefits of PG to governments, complementing formal democratic institutions, building trust, supporting PG champions and using strategic political timing. Their practical and highly original findings will interest anyone eager to see the empowerment of people around the world.


  • Building Political Will for Participatory Governance: An Introduction—C. Malena.
  • Revisiting Participatory Governance: An Insturment for Empowerment or Co-optation?—H. Abad.
  • Building Political Will for Participatory Governance: Overcoming the Obstacles—J. Clark.
  • Lessons from the Work of Aga Khan Foundation in Promoting Good Local Governance in Tajikistan, Kenya, and Tanzania—R. Holloway, S. Shonasimova, M. Ngari, and A. Chiaji.
  • Neighborhood Democracy and Participation: Formal Representatives and Empowered Citizens Move From Competition to Mutual Interests—M. Jacksteit.
  • Building Political Will for Participatory Governance at the Local Level in the United Kingdom—T. Zipfel.
  • Building Pressure from Below: Lessons from Uganda—H. Namisi.
  • Beyond Lip Service: Using Social Contracts to Achieve Participatory and Accountable Governance in the Philippines—E.C. Areño.
  • Building Political Will for Participatory Budgeting in Rural Zimbabwe: The Case of Mutoko Rural District Council—T. Mumvuma.
  • Building Political Will for Particapatory Budgeting in Canada: the Case of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition—E. Pinnington.
  • From Command to Consent in Bolivia: How and Why to Gain Political Will for Citizen Participation—R. MacLean-Abaroa.
  • Building Political Will for Participatory Governance at the National Level.
  • Building Political Will for Refining Public Participation Policy in South Africa—J. Hicks and I. Buccus.
  • Building Political Will for Enhanced Citizen Access to Information: Lessons from Latin America—A. Cruz.
  • Transparency International's Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres: Experiences in Fostering Citizen Participation and Government Responsiveness—A. Keller-Herzog.
  • Participatory Governance: Where There Is Lack of Will, Is There a Way?—C. Malena.