Reading about democracy at the moment and came across this:
The first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto
It cannot all be about participation in the sense of consultation, participation has to mean being the decision-makers not just influencing the decision-makers. Is there a risk with the focus on civil society and NGOs that the response to the democratic deficit becomes about one elite talking to another elite, rather than any substantial shift in power. Then again, how is such a shift imaginable if the conditions do not become more conducive, and maybe that where the NGOs come in?

The last three months reading have focused on participatory democracy, there are 42 references in my Zotero folder, and I have moments of beginning to think the reading is forming into something  - just fleeting senses mind you that disappear rather rapidly!  At a guess I would say I am half way to being able to write something.  That's just a stab in the dark mind you.

42 reference in 3 months that does not seem particularly speedy.