This article proposes an analysis of the relationships amongst the crisis of political parties, the insurgence of phenomena such as the cognitive mobilization and the role of participatory and deliberative democracy as frame for new forms of civic engagement. The authors also focus over the transformation of the public sphere and the need for scholars and politicians to go beyond a normative conception of the mediatised public space. The rising of new forms of political parties (cartel party, "presidentialized" party, franchise party) is strongly connected with the partisan dealignment, the crisis of the liberal representative democracy and the deep transformation of the public sphere; in the same time, new forms of active citizenship and civic engagement can replace and/or support the political parties. The participatory and deliberative democracy challenges the old politics and can represent both a tool and a frame for strengthening the new forms of political participation.
Keywords: Political Participation; Political Parties; Cognitive Mobilization; Participatory and Deliberative Democracy; Public Sphere.