Doing Citizen Engagement
Arnstein’s levels of engagement

What Is This?

Arnstein introduced the idea of levels of engagement in the 1960’s. Here is an up-to-date version.

What Is Its Use?

The tool is especially useful when you’re thinking about the People you’re trying involve.

Levels Of Citizen Engagement

The picture below conveys the simple idea that some people are more engaged as citizens than others. For example, a person who has been an engaged citizen in the past, is more likely to be involved in the future. On the other hand, trying to persuade someone with little interest to participate in a campaign may be difficult. Arnstein’s ladder suggests that people have to go up the ladder rung-by-rung.

Like all tools, it’s only as good as the people using it. Despite its limitations, Arnstein’s ladder is worth thinking about.