Abstract: Citizen involvement is regarded as a desirable component of public policy making, particularly policy in the social welfare field. This paper examines different conceptions of social welfare and different conceptions of citizen participation. Participation is a term with many shades of meaning, and policy makers should distinguish between sociotherapy, market research and citizen power, all of which come under the rubric “citizen participation”. Different conceptions of participation are appropriate in different policy circumstances and these circumstances are examined with reference to two recent Australian participatory programs in the welfare field. The paper concludes with an examination of the applicability of participation, leadership and expertise to public administration, and argues that these three values exist in a dialectical relationship and that social justice and the effectiveness of programs will be limited if too much reliance is placed on any one of these values.
|Number of pages
|Australian Journal of Public Administration
|Published - Sept 1977