¿Más participación igual a mejor democracia? Acerca de la crítica a la democracia participativa.

Translated title of the contribution: More participation equal than better democra-cy?: On critic to participatory democracy

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Nowadays, and in countries as Spain, the critic to the representative democracy as it is conceived in the present seems to go beyond the usual thought about the representation crisis to reach amendment to the whole levels where it is not any more asked to reform specific aspects of the representative model, but to rethink the whole model. It is not proposed a different political model than democratic one, but it is proposed a different democracy that, specially and together with the reform of the more characteristic representative institutions and elements (being the political parties the axis of these reforms), looks for a bigger participation of the citizens in public life in general and in the political decision making in particular finding in participatory democracy one of the pillars of the new proposed democratic model. The question arises when posing if this bigger citizens ́ participation is compatible with the representative model and can contribute to change it improving it or if, conversely, a bigger citizens ́ political participation can lead to pernicious effects, both involuntary and caused by material limitations of participatory tools, both voluntary wished by rulers and political operators than, in the name of a politi-cal improvement materialized through a bigger participation, don ́t look for another thing but to reach, to keep and to increase their pow-er even at the cost of a democratic weakening materialized in a wors-ening of the quality of the representative institutions of the State. It is, therefore, relevant to pose if a bigger participatory democracy nec-essarily leads to a better democracy, or if contrary happens. On this paper, starting from the role of participatory democracy as possible complement that helps to the improving of representative democracy, the critics to the participatory democracy are exposed and it is tried to give a proposal of answer to the question if a bigger participation is compatible with a better democracy, proposing that no necessarily and this compatibility will depend in a great way not so much on the tools themselves, but on the political subjects that activate them and on the will and political intentions that they have.
Translated title of the contributionMore participation equal than better democra-cy?: On critic to participatory democracy
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)183-218
Number of pages36
JournalRevista de Derecho Politico
Issue number94
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2015


  • Crisis
  • Crític
  • Participatory democracy
  • Populism
  • Representation


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