Structural failure of citizen participation

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Collapse of societal engagement

Many groups concerned with promoting local participation use methods of social change and internal decision-making which actually mediate against such participation. In the arena of the maintenance of social tranquillity, many groups have emerged since World War II concerned with providing meaningful ways for citizens to participate locally and nationally. One after another, however, these movements and organizations dissolve, either overcome by the complexity of the problem or finding their energies drained in responding to one local issue after another. In some cases, such as IRA, KKK, such groups may become more repressive and threatening to social order than the forces they sought to ameliorate.


Amid the urgency of the rapidly changing times, local people's actions and creativity are dissipated in old-fashioned systems. Free assembly, which should provide the base for the expression of public opinion by all, is inhibited. The capacity of society to bring together everyone's knowledge and experience in the decision-making process is not being utilized, and the individual fails either to recognize the power that is his and everyone's, or to use that power for the sake of the future.

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
04.06.2016 – 12:40 CEST