First Book by Hollie Russon Gilman Renews Debate on Civic Engagement

Press Release
Feb. 3, 2016

New America is proud to announce the release of Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America, a comprehensive look at participatory budgeting in the context of U.S. policy by Hollie Russon Gilman.

“We are currently in a time of profound institutional mistrust and dysfunction,” said Gilman, a fellow in both the Political Reform Program and Open Technology Institute. “There is a growing sentiment that governance institutions don't work and citizens are not interested to be involved with them.”

Using original case research, Democracy Reinvented demonstrates processes that currently engage citizens and how these processes are spreading across the country. The book also includes practical suggestions for how, through technology and grassroots efforts, citizens can become more engaged in governance.

"At its best, participatory budgeting leads citizens to ‘reimagine what is possible’ in how they are governed and govern themselves,” said New America president Anne-Marie Slaughter, in advance praise of the book. “Democracy Reinvented pushes past the hype that so often surrounds civic technology and participatory democracy to describe experiments that have actually worked and to give us a larger framework and vocabulary for civic engagement in the digital age. This is a book for political scientists and political campaigners alike.”

Gilman most recently served in the White House as the Open Government and Innovation Advisor. She is a founding researcher and organizer for the Open Society Foundations’ Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and Harvard’s Gettysburg Project to revitalize twenty-first century civic engagement. Democracy Reinvented is the ninth volume in the Innovative Governance in the 21st Century series, a project that examines important issues of governance, public policy, and administration, highlighting innovative practices and original research worldwide, co-published by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Brookings Institution Press.