GERMAN CITIZENS REQUESTING RESPONSIBLE LAND GOVERNANCE Opportunities and Limitations of Citizens’ Initiatives in Germany – and Elsewhere
Local councils take decisions on land uses. If the reasons for such a decision are not conclusive to the public, benefits for local community not visible, the land in question of special importance for local citizens, or if people fear a negative environmental impact, people sometimes set out to protest. One reason why protest by local populations arises is that citizens are no longer willing to tolerate insufficient transparency of local politics, lack of meaningful public participation, and local council decisions that reflect neither the law nor local citizens’ interests. In Germany, such situations sometimes lead to citizens’ initiatives, which – if successful – can result in referendums. The article explores such citizens’ initiatives to find out:
a) How efficient this tool is to improve land governance and
b) To which extend or under which conditions it may be applied in other countries, including developing countries.
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