Social participation is most often perceived as a means of external cooperation between public authorities and citizens. It should be based on a common and consensual identification of problem issues and their resolution in a meaningful way through the exchange and justification of reasons, mutual education, and training and acquisition of civic competences. The basis of social participation in the local dimension is the use of citizens’ rights. The active attitude of citizens is an important guarantor in building a civic commune in which residents are not the object but the subject of public policy. Therefore, social participation favors building relations between self-government and citizens based on the principle of partnership and participation in local decision-making processes. The purpose of the article is to evaluate the activity and involvement of local administration in creating appropriate conditions for the active participation of citizens in the field of social participation. In order to achieve this goal, surveys were conducted among the inhabitants of four cities with poviat status in Podkarpackie Province, Poland, namely, Rzeszów, Krosno, Przemyśl, and Tarnobrzeg. The research has shown that the local community of Podkarpackie cities rarely uses the various forms of social participation offered to them by the local administration. This is why the administration’s activities should focus on making residents aware of the benefits of participation. Providing residents with relevant information on the principles, forms, or methods of participation may prejudge the quality of life in a given local government and the course of its development.
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