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By Anja Röcke (auth.)

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More recently, participatory structures going beyond the urban level have also been tried out. The most prominent cases are the Citizen Assemblies on electoral reform like in British Columbia (2004), Ontario (2006) and the Netherlands (2007), where the results of a deliberative process involving a ‘mini-public’ have been put to a national referendum, thus combining elements from deliberative and direct democracy. 44 Framing Citizen Participation Few scholars have so far made the explicit attempt to combine participatory and deliberative (and other) theories of democracy (Cohen and Sabel, 1997).

Under this model [post-democracy], while elections certainly exist and can change governments, public electoral debate is a tightly controlled spectacle, managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the techniques of persuasion, and considering a small range of issues selected by those teams. The mass of citizens plays a passive, Citizen Participation and Democratic Innovations 33 quiescent, even apathetic part, responding only to the signals given them. Behind this spectacle of the electoral game, politics is really shaped in private by interaction between elected governments and elites that overwhelmingly represent business interests.

Yet, how do frames exactly function as institutional blueprints? Blyth’s contribution as well as the wider literature on ideas or frames seem omitting the question of how ideas concretely influence the design of new policy instruments. 15 In the local case studies presented in Part III, this question will be addressed, as well as the question of how frames influence the functioning and outcomes of PB institutions. At this point, the analysis pursues with the concept of diffusion, including the types and degrees of diffusion as well as the importance of frames in diffusion processes.

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