One of the central ideas of liberal democracy is to ensure broad-based citizen participation in the governance process that goes beyond simply voting. However, evidence shows that on many occasions it has been failing to do so both in the developed and developing countries. As such, this paper, based on an empirical study, analyzes the scopes, forms, and nature of citizen participation in the urban local governance process in Bangladesh. It is found that citizen participation has been nominal in the local governance process due to a number of social, political, and institutional factors, for example, electoral politics, limited citizen's accesses to various decision-making bodies, the existence of clientelistic politics and the presence of a weak civil society.
- citizen participation
- local governance