grassroots democracy

In political context, this phrase usually is equivalent to participatory democracy.

As per politics as usual, "grassroots" democracy generally refers to decisionmaking by rank and file members of a mainstream party. It is secondary to power politics; and a weak second at that.

The term grassroots democracy can also sometime mean direct democracy or semi-direct democracy or deliberative democracy, but is shaded somewhat differently with these meanings. So, be careful which terms you use. See also ground rules for grassroots democracy, anticipatory democracy, bioregional democracy,