Public participation is a political principle or practice, and may also be recognised as a right (right to public participation). The terms public participation may be used interchangeably with the concept or practice of stakeholder engagement and/or popular participation.
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- The modern anxiety about popular participation in political life has a long history, but has taken a distinctive form. Greek city-states were plagued by civil war between oligarchs and democrats; the last hundred years of the Roman Republic were marked by conflicts between populares and optimates, the (proclaimed) defenders of the interests of the people and the upper classes.
- Alan Ryan, On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present (2012), Introduction: Thinking about Politics.