Participatory democracy, civic engagement and citizenship education

“By The People”
Participatory democracy, civic engagement and citizenship education

DemocracyPhoto by Sara  CC BY NC SA


Arizona State University
December 3-5, 2015

Arizona State University is proud to announce that it will be hosting a conference on participatory governance, civic engagement and citizenship education. The event
will be designed to share research findings, engage in provocative and meaningful discussions, learn from accomplishments and failures, and be inspired by innovative approaches, strategies, policies, tools and practices. The conference will bring together academics, students, practitioners, researchers, appointed and elected public officials, teachers, administrators, members of community organizations, and all those interested in participatory governance, public engagement and citizenship education. The conference will combine academic presentations with practical workshops. We are interested in attracting theoretical and empirical contributions that are related to the three conference themes.

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submissions of abstracts: April 15, 2015
  • Early registration: June 1, 2015 to October 15, 2015
  • Regular registration: After October 16, 2015

Conference Website:

For questions or suggestions about the conference, please send a message to

Conference Themes
1) Participatory Governance

Historical perspectives; the legacy of the Magna Carta for the project of democracy
Theoretical and practical issues in participatory governance
The legal dimension of participatory governance
Representative and participatory democracy: connections and tensions
Principles, policies and programs
Ethical issues in participatory governance
The architecture of participatory governance: enabling structures and processes
Public officials and “invited spaces”
Dialogue and deliberation
Direct democracy
Open governance and transparency
Co-governance and self-governance
The commons and associative intelligence
Online participatory governance; E-democracy
Innovative approaches, tools and practices (e.g. citizen juries, participatory budgeting)
Evaluation of participatory democracy policies and programs
Other topics related to participatory governance

2) Civic engagement

Forms and levels of citizen engagement
Civic engagement policies and programs
Motivations for civic engagement
Civic engagement and community development
‘Passive’ and ‘active’ citizenship
Engaging diverse communities
Youth engagement
Leadership development
Strategies for effective engagement
Motivations, capacities and opportunities
Individual participation and associated participation
Neighborhood associations
Evaluation of civic engagement policies and programs
Online and hybrid civic engagement
Impact of civic engagement
Innovative approaches, tools and practices
Other topics related to civic engagement

3) Citizenship education

Citizenship education in K-12
Citizenship education in colleges and universities
Citizenship education in non-formal educational institutions
Informal citizenship learning
Community capacity building
Impact of citizenship education
Education for, about and in democracy
Democratic schools
Service learning
School councils
Global citizenship education
Evaluation of citizenship education policies and programs
Comparative and international perspectives in citizenship education
Citizenship education and peace education
Innovative approaches, tools and practices
Other topics related to citizenship education

Submission Guidelines: Presenters must submit an abstract of their presentation (around 250 words) by April 15, 2015.  The abstract should indicate title, name and affiliation of presenter(s), the relationship of the presentation to one or more of the conference themes, and the format of the presentation. Presentations are organized into four categories: paper/project presentations, panels, roundtables and workshops. All sessions will last 90 minutes.

To submit an abstract, please go to 

Paper/Project Presentations: These sessions are designed for participants to present research findings, research in progress, research proposals, community projects, “think pieces” and theoretical reflections around the topics of the conference. Graduate theses, doctoral dissertations and reflections on practice are also welcome. Qualifying presentations will be grouped together based on subject, geography or other thematic considerations by the program committee. Each session will have 3-4 presentations, followed by at least 30 minutes for Q&A and discussion. Paper proposals should include title of presentation, name and affiliation of presenters, and a 250 word abstract.

Panels: These self-organized sessions are collections of three or four papers on a related theme. Ideally, these papers build upon each other, thereby adding to the coherence of the panel. Panel organizers are responsible for preparing an abstract of the panel as a whole. For panels comprising 3 presenters, each individual will be expected to speak for no longer than 20 minutes; for panels of 4 presenters, each participant will be expected to speak for no longer than 15 minutes, providing time for Q&A and discussion. The abstract for a panel should include a title for the panel, names and affiliations of panel participants, and titles and abstracts for each paper included in the panel.

Roundtables: These sessions provide an informal opportunity to discuss diverse or conflicting ideas or research in progress and research issues with a group of participants. Roundtables are interactive dialogues that rely on the ideas of four or five panelists, facilitated by a moderator.  Adequate time should be allotted for audience participation and Q&A, but it need not be the primary focus, as in the previous formats. Roundtables are well suited to the discussion of the implications of an issue for practice, a conversation about research agendas around specific topics, or the examination of contrasting perspectives on an issue. Priority will be given to panels that reflect diversity of opinions, backgrounds and/or geography. Roundtable proposals should include a title for the roundtable, names and affiliations of roundtable participants, and an abstract with the description of the roundtable.

Workshops: The goal of a participatory, experiential workshop is the active involvement of participants in an activity designed to learn certain skills, gain specific knowledge, or engage in a debate about a particular issue. “Presenting” by the workshop facilitator/s should be limited. Proposals should include a title and an abstract (250 words), and indicate how facilitators intend to involve participants in the workshop.

Presenters who would like their papers to be considered for inclusion in a post-conference publication are asked to send their paper before January 31, 2016. Papers should not exceed 3,500 words (excluding references).

Conference Fee

Early Registration                    Late Registration

Regular                                                                                                  $150                                   $200

Reduced fee (students, retired, unemployed                                      $80                                   $120
and Global South participants)

Sponsored by the Participatory Governance Initiative

School of Public Affairs, College of Public Service and Community Solutions
Arizona State University

In collaboration with

Center for Law and Global Affairs, Arizona State University
Center for Policy Informatics, Arizona State University
Center for Civic Participation, Maricopa Community College
School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University
New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University
Mary Lou Fulton, Teachers College, Arizona State University
Center for Urban Innovation, Arizona State University
Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University
Participatory Budgeting Project

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