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Peace referendums, which seek to manage conflict between warring groups, are increasingly common. Yet they remain erratic forces—liable as often to aggravate as to resolve tensions. Ron Levy will speak about his recent book Deliberative Peace Referendums (OUP 2021). Levy and his co-authors Ian O'Flynn and Hoi Kong argue that, despite their risks, referendums can play useful roles amid armed conflict. Drawing on a distinctive combination of the fields of deliberative democracy, constitutional theory and conflict studies, and relying on comparative examples (eg, from Algeria, Colombia, New Caledonia, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea, and South Africa), the book shows how peace referendums can fulfil their promise as genuine tools of conflict management.

For more on the book see here


Associate Professor Dr Ron Levy researches and writes on public law and political theory, especially constitutional law, the law of politics, and deliberative democracy. He is the winner of several research awards including grants from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Australian Research Council. Levy's books include Deliberative Peace Referendums (Oxford University Press, 2021, with Ian O'Flynn and Hoi Kong); The Law of Deliberative Democracy (Routledge, 2016, with Graeme Orr) and The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018, with Hoi Kong, Graeme Orr and Jeff King eds). His projects include studies of constitutional reform, including prospects for reform via deliberative democracy and referendums in conflict societies.

Levy is the General Editor of the Federal Law Review and also leads the International Advisory Panel on Referendums, an international group that provides advice to governments and civil society groups on designing more deliberative referendums.

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