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Simon Niemeyer

Simon Niemeyer



Simon Niemeyer is co-founder of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. Simon’s research covers the broad field of deliberative democracy, with a focus on the use of empirical research to inform its theoretical foundations and understand how they translate into practical democratic innovations.

So far, Simon has contributed to the development of several pathbreaking concepts in the field, such as metaconsensus and discursive representation (both with John Dryzek) as well as developing innovative methods for the analysis of deliberation. His more recent work has involved conceptualising, measuring, and analysing deliberative reasoning. This work, which ties together previous work on measuring deliberative transformation and theorising of deliberative metaconsensus, has implications for minipublic design, as well broader implications for the understanding the ethics of epistemology, the nature and role of deliberative capacity, distributed reasoning in deliberative systems and mechanisms for supporting deliberative reasoning. Much of his work has focussed on deliberative democracy and environmental issues, including climate change, but also covers a broad range of topics including technological development, medical ethics, energy futures, immigration, and parliamentary reform.

Niemeyer completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 2002, which followed undergraduate studies in ecology, economics, and environmental policy (Griffith University). Since graduating, he has acted as chief investigator on 18 research projects, including nine Australian Research Council Awards and an ARC Future Fellowship. As well as ANU and University of Canberra, he has held research positions at the Uppsala University, University of Birmingham, Cambridge University and CSIRO. He has also held visiting positions and numerous universities including University of Oxford (Nuffield College), Åbo Akademi, University of British Columbia, University of Bern and University of Northern Arizona.

Key Publications

Full list of publications available in GoogleScholar.

Research Grants

  • Co-investigator (with PerOla Öberg). “Expert government agencies’ contribution to public deliberation: balancing the need for expertise with political equality”, Riksbanken (Sweden), SEK5,700,000 , 2021-2023

  • Chief Investigator (with Nicole Curato, Selen Ercan, John Dryzek and Nick Vlahos). Monitoring Deliberative Integrity in Australia. Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative. AU$202,156. 2021-2023

  • Chief Investigator (with John Dryzek, Dianne Nicol, Nicole Curato, Antoine Vergner). “Global Citizen Deliberation: Analysing a Deliberative Documentary for a Citizens Assembly on Genome Editing”. ARC Linkage, $450,000, 2020-2023.

  • Chief Investigator (with Dianne Nicol, Nicole Curato, John Dryzek). “Genome editing: formulating an Australian community response”. Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Medical Research Future Fund —Genomics Health Futures Mission, $432,015. 2020-2022.

  • Lead Investigator (with CIs Nicole Curato, John Dryzek, Andre Bachtiger. “A Metastudy of micropolitical deliberation”, ARC Discovery Project, $526,411. 2018-2020.

  • Co-investigator (with Jane Suiter and David Farrel). Analysis of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality,€45,000, 2020.

  • Co-investigator (with Andre Bächtiger and S. Marien German Research Council. What citizens want from deliberative forms of participation: mapping legitimacy perceptions with an online survey and a preference experiment. (The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, €150,000. 2020-2022.

  • Lead Investigator (with Julia Jennstål), “The Deliberative Person: How, When and Where to Citizens Deliberate” Swedish Research Council Research Grant, SEK 5,800,000 [Approx AU $1million] 2014-2017.

  • Lead Investigator, ARC Future Fellowship “Deliberative Democracy and Climate Change: Building the Foundations of an Adaptive System”. ARC, AU$629,090. 2013-2016.

  • Lead Investigator (with John Dryzek, David Schlosberg, Kersty Hobson, Robert Goodin, Andre Bachtiger, Maija Setala).ARC Discovery Grant DP120103976 ,“Deliberative Democracy in the Public Sphere: Achieving Deliberative Outcomes in mass publics”. AU$320,357. 2012-2014.

  • Chief Investigator (with David Schlosberg).Rethinking Climate Justice in an Age of Adaptation: Capabilities, Loca Variation, and Public Deliberation”. ARC Discovery Grant DP120104797, AU$250,000. 2012-2014.

  • Lead Investigator (with Will Steffen and Kersty Hobson). “Social Adaptation to Climate Change in the Australian Public Sphere: A Comparison of Individual and Group Deliberative Responses to Scenarios of Future Climate Change” ARC Discovery Grant DP0879092AU$378,500, 2008-2010.

  • Chief Investigator (with John Dryzek, Lyn Carson (USyd), Janette HartzKarp (Murdoch), Ian Marsh (USyd) and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis (newDemocracy), “Creating an Analysing a Citizens’ Parliament: Exploring the Public’s Deliberative Capacity”). ARC Linkage Grant LP0882714, AU$709,575, 2008-2010.

  • Chief Investigator (with John Dryzek), “The Micropolitics of Deliberation”. ARC Discovery Grant DP0558573, AU$365,000. 2005-2007.

  • Lead Investigator (with Anna Littleboy), “Societal uptake of alternative energy futures”, CSIRO Energy Flagship Programme AU$400,000. 2004-2005.

  • Chief Investigator (with Judith Petts, Kersty Hobson, Glenn McGregor). “Predicting thresholds of social behavioural responses to rapid climate change”. Economic and Social Research Council (UK). Environment and New Behaviour Opportunities Programme, £32,748. 2003-2004.

  • Lead Investigator (with Mick Common and Russell Blamey). “Citizens’ Juries and Environmental Valuation” AU$150,000, Land and Water Australia. Social and Institutional Research Program. 1999-2002.

  • Recipient. Land and Water Scholar. Industry Scholarship award for Doctoral Studies at the School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. AU$75,000. 1999-2002.

PhD Students

  • Nardine Almer (Primary Supervisor)

  • Nicole Moore (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Tatjana Zhdanova (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Andrea Felicetti (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Michael Rollens (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Alex Lo (Secondary Supervisor)


  • Director, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, 2021-2022

  • Member, Excellence in Research committee, University of Canberra, 2021-2022.

  • Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business, Government and Law, 2018-2020.

  • Member, University Research Committee, University of Canberra, 2019-2020

  • Coordinator, ARC Research Proposals, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, 2017-2018

  • Member, College of Arts and Social Sciences eResearch Committee, 2011-2012.

  • Member, College of Arts and Social Sciences IT Strategy Committee, 2009-2010

  • Steering Group member, ANU Climate Initiative, 2007–2009

  • President, ANU Postgraduate and Research Student Association, 1999

  • Member of University Council, The Australian National University, 1999

  • Steering Committee Member, ECPR Standing Group, Democratic Innovations, 2011- 2015

Public Engagement

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