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On Making Democracy Work in the Constitutional Republic

35 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 3 Sep 2009

Boris Bruk

Institute of Modern Russia

Date Written: 2009


Drawing on the argument of the Blacksburg group of public administration scholars, this paper suggests that to make democracy work in the Constitutional Republic, public administrators have to expand “opportunities for direct citizen involvement in governance” (Wamsley et al., 1990; Wamsley & Wolf, 1996). Within this context, the public administrator plays the role of “collaborator in the public interest” (Goodsell, 2004), while the citizen becomes a “co-producer” of a product or service (Bovaird, 2007). To test the viability of these arguments, the paper presents a case study of a collaborative project on community planning and visioning for the Town of Shenandoah, Virginia. The project was undertaken by the Office of Economic Development of Virginia Tech, where I worked as a graduate assistant in 2007-2008, with the participation of the Shenandoah residents, the representatives of the Shenandoah Industrial Corporation, the Town of Shenandoah, and Page County. The purpose of the project was to develop a roadmap for community revitalization and development that the citizens, governments, and other stakeholders would follow.

Suggested Citation

Bruk, Boris, On Making Democracy Work in the Constitutional Republic (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN:

Boris Bruk (Contact Author)

Institute of Modern Russia

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