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Understanding and Evaluating Deliberative Systems

Investigator(s):

André Bächtiger, Nicole Curato, John Dryzek, Selen A. Ercan, Eda Keremoglu-Waibler, Simon Niemeyer and Kei Nishiyama

Understanding and Evaluating Deliberative Systems

Funded by DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service and Universities Australia, the Project Team includes:

  • André Bächtiger

  • Nicole Curato

  • John Dryzek

  • Selen A. Ercan

  • Eda Keremoglu-Waibler

  • Simon Niemeyer

  • Kei Nishiyama


In recent years, deliberative democratic theory turned away from a focus on deliberation within small-scale forums, towards a focus on systems embracing multiple sites of deliberation and decision-making. The shift towards a systems approach enabled scholars to move beyond the limitations of focusing on mini-publics and other democratic innovations and instead think about the various ways in which deliberative activity is dispersed in various spaces of political action. The deliberative systems approach opens up a new way of thinking about deliberation, but also raises questions with respect to its practical application and empirical investigation.


This project builds upon the existing joint projects of the project partners in this field and seeks to refine the methodological tools to empirically examine and compare the 'deliberative systems' in different political systems and across different policy areas. This project aims to: 1) develop a conceptual framework for assessing the deliberative democratic quality of contemporary political systems; 2) develop a mixed method for the analysis of deliberative systems (by combining the insights gained from qualitative and quantitative methods of analysing deliberation); 3) offer empirical application of these methods in the context of individual research projects of the project partners.