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Book Chapter

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Edward Elgar Publishers


This chapter assesses the state of democratic innovations in North America, including the United States, Canada, and English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. We begin by setting these innovations in the contexts of democracy on the continent, which includes both established democracies and countries that have only recently decolonised. We go on to discuss major trends in democratic innovations over the past two decades in North America, including referendums and initiatives, mini-publics and collaborative governance, and digital participation in political and civic life. We note the broad range of issues addressed by these innovations and their effects on democratic institutions at different levels of governance. Finally, we draw several lessons and ideas for reform from the uneven impacts of democratic innovations in North America.1

Chapter of

Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance


Stephen Elstub
Oliver Escobar


This is a draft chapter/article. The final version is available in Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar, published in 2019, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.



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