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The norm-diffusing potential of minipublic

Lala Muradova, University of Leuven

Tue 4 February 2020

12:10pm - 1:10pm

The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra


Deliberative minipublics are argued to be good for circulating ideas to the wider public sphere. Yet, so far, such accounts have not looked at the potential for mini publics to contribute to democratic systems by diffusing deliberative norms to a wider society. In this paper I build on the norm diffusion theory and diffusion of innovations scholarship, and argue that deliberative minipublics can enhance broader public deliberation, by acting as a conduit for the transmission of crucial deliberative norms to the public at large. In this task, I liken the role of minipublics to that of international organizations (IO) which have been central in diffusing the norms related, inter alia, to human rights, gender equality, war ethics, across and within states. Next, I suggest mechanisms by which minipublics can exercise influence on norm formation in the public. I conclude by suggesting new avenues for future theoretical and empirical research on the norm-diffusing function of minipublics.

About the speaker

Lala Muradova is a PhD Candidate at the Democratic Innovations & Legitimacy Group, University of Leuven. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of political psychology and deliberative democracy. In her PhD project, she uses experimental research designs combined with observation of real-world deliberative practices, to study the cognitive and affective processes underlying political reasoning in deliberative and non-deliberative settings. Prof. Sofie Marien is the advisor of this PhD project. In 2019, she was awarded the Best Paper of the Democratic Innovations Section at the 2019 General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).

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