Direct democracy and participatory democracy can be, under certain conditions, a way of dealing with the citizen’s disengagement from representative politics. A range of other ways of involving citizens in governance has emerged, fuelled by web and social media applications: participatory budgeting and crowdfunding for government projects, for example, give community members a voice in the fiscal decision‑making processes and invite them to deliberate on the local authorities’ financial decisions. Citizen watchdogs are another relevant example of initiatives taken by citizens who wish to document a fact. They encourage both citizens to know more about their elected officials' conduct and the latter's responsiveness towards their votes, with the positive effect of reducing the level of corruption. Are these phenomena confined to a few pioneering cities or are they heralding a shift towards participatory democracy?

Organisational transformation though democracy innovation, PASOK, Greece

Throughout its 40 years, drastic transformations occurred in the party organisation of PASOK. The initiative “Organisational Transformation” introduced numerous actions promoting the Participatory functioning of the Movement. Among them, «Open Meetings» were established and organised at the local level, in close collaboration with local authorities and civil society organisations, with the aim of adopting consultation processes and participatory decision-making processes on issues of, mainly, local interest. These Open Meetings are not only open to the subscribed party members, but are also open to the whole citizenry.