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  • When the talking stops: Deliberative disagreement and non-deliberative decision mechanisms

    < Back When the talking stops: Deliberative disagreement and non-deliberative decision mechanisms Ian O'Flynn, Newcastle University Tue 5 December 2017 11:00am - 12:00pm The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra Abstract Deliberative democracy entails a commitment to deciding political questions on their merits. In the ideal case, people engage in an exchange of reasons and arrive together at an agreed view or judgement on what is right or best. In practice, of course, an agreed view may be impossible to reach—among other things, there may not be enough time or information. Yet while deliberative democrats accept that compromise or voting may therefore be required to resolve the disagreement that deliberation leaves unresolved, the nature of that acceptance remains unclear. Is there something in the logic of deliberative democracy to commend it or does it signal something important about the limits of the model? To address this question, this paper uses the much-neglected distinction between conflicts of judgement and conflicts of preference to show why greater attention needs to be paid to the character of the decision to be made. This paper is co-authored with Maija Setälä. About the speaker Dr Ian O’Flynn is a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at Newcastle University. His main research interest is in deliberative democracy, but he also works on topics such as compromise and political integration. He teaches modules in contemporary political theory and in the politics of deeply divided societies. He is the author of Deliberative Democracy and Divided Societies (2006) and his articles have appeared in journals such as British Journal of Political Science and Political Studies. He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Australian National University. Previous Next

  • Friedel Marquardt

    < Back Friedel Marquardt Research Assistant About Friedel is a Research Assistant in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance for the global research project Participedia’s Participatory Governance Cluster. She is also a PhD student at the University of Canberra, in the School of Politics, Economics and Society in the Business, Government and Law faculty. Dissertation Friedel’s PhD thesis considers whether social media is a viable platform for marginalised groups to engage with dominant narratives. She is specifically looking into the Black Lives Matter movement in Australia, which had a strong focus on First Nations deaths in custody, to try to understand if and to what extent this takes place. PhD Supervisors Mary Walsh (primary supervisor) Selen Ercan (secondary supervisor) Hans Asenbaum (secondary supervisor) Administration Cluster Coordinator, Participedia, 2021-present Scholarships and Prizes Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship (2021-2023), University of Canberra University Medal (2019), University of Canberra Key Publications Gagnon, J.P., Asenbaum, H., Fleuβ, D., Bassu, S., Guasti, P., Dean, R., Chalaye, P., Alnemr, N., Marquardt, F. & Weiss, A. (2021) The Marginalized Democracies of the World. Democratic Theory, 8(2), 1-18. Conference Presentations The Politics of Narrative in Media, Political Organisation and Participation (POP) APSA Standing Group Annual Workshop, 6-7 December 2022, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA. Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 26-28 September 2022, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT. The Politics of Narrative in Media, Political Organisation and Participation (POP) APSA Standing Group Annual Workshop, 16-17 February 2022, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD. “First Nations in Contemporary Australia: Present, but Heard?”, Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 20-22 September 2021, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, (online due to COVID restrictions). Teaching Tutor, Introduction to Politics and Government, 2022 – present Tutor and guest lecturer, Introduction to Public Policy, 2021 - present Public Engagement Levin, M., Parry, L., & Marquardt, F. (2022) ‘Best-Interests Decision Making,’ Just Participation Participedia Podcast, 16 August. Marquardt, F. (2022) ‘People’s participation in process design,’ in Risks and lessons from the deliberative wave. Edited by N. Curato. Deliberative Democracy Digest. 2 May. Marquardt, F. (2022) Who determines the practical meanings of democracy?. ECPR The Loop. 7 April. Marquardt, F. (2022) Who Controls the Narrative? The Power of Social Media, Murra Magazine. February. Marquardt, F. and Ercan, S.A. (2022) Deliberative Integrity Indicators: Some Insights from Participedia. Research Note #3, Deliberative Integrity Project. January.

  • Deliberative Global Governance

    < Back Deliberative Global Governance Investigator(s): John S. Dryzek, Hayley Stevenson, Beibei Tang Funded through Federation Fellowship (FF0883522) ($1,638,730), the Project Team includes: · John S. Dryzek, Chief Investigator · Hayley Stevenson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow · Beibei Tang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Project Description The project investigates democratisation of the international system, with special reference to climate change issues; as well as the democratisation of authoritarian systems, with special reference to China. Research results find application in the worldwide movement to put deliberative democracy into practice, be it in global politics, in newly democratic societies, or in the institutions of established democracies. The Federation Fellowship has three sub-projects: (1) Deliberative Democratization in China. In China, traditional democratization paths involving constitutionalism and party competition are obstructed or problematic. China has however allowed substantial deliberative innovation at the local level, in part to help cope with the social and environmental dislocation attending rapid economic growth. The broader intent is to develop a generalizable approach to democratization, emphasizing deliberative capacity. (2) The Deliberative Global Governance of Climate Change. In taking deliberative democracy to the global level, no topic is more important than climate change. The idea is to map the key components of the global deliberative system for the governance of climate change, and assess how effectively they are working in deliberative terms. To the extent this proves to be a deliberative system in disrepair, we need to develop ideas for realistic reform of the system. The international system currently suffers from a severe democratic deficit, but any strengthening of democracy at international and global levels will almost certainly look very different from familiar models found in liberal democratic states. (3) A Deliberative Global Citizens’ Assembly. Building on the successful Australian Citizens’ Parliament held in 2009, the idea is to explore the prospects for a global assembly composed of more or less randomly selected participants. This can be contrasted with existing proposals for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which rely upon problematic combinations of state-nominated participants and a tortuous path to global elections.

  • Sahana Sehgal

    < Back Sahana Sehgal PhD Candidate About Sahana is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Her research focuses on multiculturalism and cultural diversity. She is interested in investigating the lack of intercultural engagement amongst migrant communities in Australia. Before moving to Australia, Sahana completed her Bachelor of Mass Media (Journalism) from the University of Mumbai. Sahana worked in the social impact and community services sector in India. As a Teach for India Fellow (2013- 2015) and briefly as a Program Coordinator for the iTeach Fellowship (2015-2016), Sahana worked towards improving achievement outcomes for public school students and teaching graduates. Following which, she worked as a Milaap Fellow (2016), exploring microfinance and skill development in rural Tamil Nadu, India. Sahana moved to Australia to complete her Master of International Relations (2017- 2018) from the Australian National University (ANU). Sahana briefly worked as a Sessional Academic for the Indian Security and Foreign Policy course, taught at the ANU. She is employed at the Canberra Multicultural Service (FM 91.1) and works in collaboration with ethnic language broadcasters and coordinators; actively seeking, developing and maintaining partnerships with external stakeholders; and managing grants, and community engagement initiatives and media projects. Dissertation Sahana's PhD dissertation is provisionally entitled ‘ Barriers and Enablers of Intercultural Engagement in Australia: The Case of Indian Diaspora in Canberra’. It seeks to improve the policy and practice of multiculturalism in Australia by identifying pathways to deepen intercultural engagement amongst migrant communities. Australian multiculturalism, while a successful project and policy framework since the 1970s, does not emphasise intercultural engagement in its practice and thus fails to promote interaction at a micro, community level. Advancing intercultural engagement is a key for the future of multiculturalism in Australia. Only by making multiculturalism more interactive, Australia can respond to the emerging ‘super-diversity’ in this country. This research seeks to understand the enablers and barriers of intercultural engagement through an in-depth study of the Indian diaspora in Canberra as a case study. While the Indian diaspora is only one ethnic community among many others, it is a suitable case for exploring the questions this research seeks to respond to. The project will offer new insights on how different actors perceive and practice intercultural engagement focusing on three different yet interconnected levels of analysis within the public domain- the public, civic actors, and government agencies. It will involve interviews with key actors, focus groups with the members of the Indian diaspora and document analysis of policy documents with respect to multiculturalism and intercultural engagement. Conference Presentations ‘Negotiating Multiculturalism: The Linear and the Lateral.’ 3rd Advancing Community Cohesion Conference, 12 February 2020. Western Sydney University, Australia ‘Negotiating Multiculturalism: The Linear and the Lateral.’ Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) Conference, October 2019. PhD supervisors Selen Ercan (Primary supervisor) Caroline Ng Tseung Wong Tak Wan (Secondary supervisor) Kim Rubenstein (Advisor) Administration Co-convener, Seminar Series of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, 2022-present Scholarships and Prizes University of Canberra and Canberra Multicultural Service Co-Funded Stipend Scholarship, 2021-2025.

  • Elisabeth Alber

    < Back Elisabeth Alber Associate About Elisabeth Alber has taught and widely published on federalism and democracy, institutional innovation and participatory democracy, comparative federalism and regionalism, intergovernmental relations and policy-making in federal and regional States. She is a senior researcher at the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research.

  • Cracking the whip: The deliberative costs of strict party discipline

    < Back Cracking the whip: The deliberative costs of strict party discipline Udit Bhatia, University of Oxford Tue 26 September 2017 11:00am - 12:00pm The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra Abstract This paper explores how strict party discipline over legislators can harm a legislative assembly’s deliberative capacity. I begin by showing different ways in which control over legislators can be exercised, and why some warrant more attention than others. Next, I discuss three ways in which such control stifles the discursive autonomy of legislators. In the third section, I outline two ways in which deliberation in the context of legislatures can be understood: the classical and distributed approach. The fourth section argues that the stifling of discursive autonomy of legislators imposes costs on deliberation in parliament, whether this is viewed in the classical or the distributed sense. In the fifth section, I outline different approaches we might adopt to party discipline in order to minimise its deliberative costs. About the speaker Udit Bhatia is a doctoral candidate and lecturer (Lady Margaret Hall) at the University of Oxford. His research interests lie at the intersections of democratic theory, political representation and social epistemology. He is currently examining the exclusion of persons from democratic citizenship on the basis of epistemic inferiority. Previous Next

  • Alexander Geisler

    < Back Alexander Geisler Associate About Alexander Geisler's research interests are in the fields of deliberative democracy, political behaviour, the theory and practice of democratic innovations, and social cognition.

  • Multilingual parties and the ethics of partisanship

    < Back Multilingual parties and the ethics of partisanship Matteo Bonotti, Monash University Tue 20 November 2018 The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra Abstract This paper argues that multilingual political parties, i.e. parties that exist and operate across linguistic boundaries by using different languages, are normatively superior to those that use a lingua franca at realizing some of the key goals of partisanship. These involve promoting the common good; educating party members and citizens in general; fostering an attitude to toleration and compromise; and offering a linkage between citizens and government. The paper has important implications for debates on the role of linguistic diversity in democratic theory and practice, and on the challenges of multilingualism in polities such as the European Union. About the speaker Matteo Bonotti is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University, having previous taught at Cardiff University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, the Journal of Applied Philosophy, the European Journal of Political Theory, Philosophy & Social Criticism, the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, the Journal of Social Philosophy, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and Res Publica. His monograph Partisanship and Political Liberalism in Diverse Societies was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Matteo's research interests are diverse but unified by a common underlying theme: ethical pluralism and cultural diversity in contemporary societies, and the question of how the state should respond to them. Matteo is currently writing a monograph (with Anne Barnhill, Johns Hopkins University) on healthy eating policy and liberal political philosophy, which is under contract with Oxford University Press. His general research interests also include linguistic justice, free speech, religion and political theory, and the normative dimensions of partisanship. Previous Next


    < Back PROSPECTS OF DELIBERATIVE POWER-SHARING IN AUSTRALIAN CITY COUNCILS? A NEW GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK FOR CO-CREATION Despite the increase of empirical studies on institutionalised public deliberation in OECD countries, where Australia is one of the leading countries, institutionalised local co-creation task committees remain unexplored beyond Northern Europe (OECD 2020). The concept of power-sharing in the context of deliberation and co-creation is also relatively understudied. For this research project, I examine the prospects of deliberative power-sharing in city councils in Australia. I explore the concept of deliberative power-sharing by adapting and applying the Danish local co-creation task committee model, the Gentofte Model, to the democratic, political and institutional context of city councils in Australia (Sørensen & Torfing 2019). The Gentofte Model has been identified as a suitable power-sharing framework between democratically elected councillors and citizens to increase public trust, political legitimacy and bipartisanship because citizens impact public policy directly through distributed political decision-making power (De Jong, Neulen and Jansma 2019). My research project will use action research as the methodology. Specifically, a participatory action research approach will be used to co-develop and implement an institutionalised local co-creation task committee in an Australian city council. My lived-experience with deliberative power-sharing in co-creation from a Danish city council will be a part of the participatory action research process of developing new knowledge and transformative change with Australian mayors, councillors, local government CEOs and citizens (Bartels et al. 2020). The outcomes of my research project aim to contribute to the field of deliberative and participatory governance because the Danish local co-creation task committee model offers a new and deliberative approach to power-sharing between councillors and citizens which has not been explored beyond the North European countries. Seminar series convenors Hans Asenbaum and Sahana Sehgal . Previous Next

  • John Uhr

    < Back John Uhr Associate About John Uhr is a Professor of Political Science in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.

  • Beyond Demagogues and Deplorables: Transforming populist rhetoric for participatory futures

    < Back Beyond Demagogues and Deplorables: Transforming populist rhetoric for participatory futures Investigator(s): Nicole Curato Funded through Toyota Foundation Research Grant Program 2017 ($20,270), the Project Team includes: Nicole Curato, Chief Investigator Bianca Ysabelle Franco, Research Associate Septrin John Calamba, Research Associate Project Description There are many reasons to think of populism as the opposite of reasonable discussion. Populism appeals to base instincts, sacrificing intellectual rigour in favour of quick solutions. Its polarising speech style creates information silos which inflames prejudices instead of promoting understanding. This project challenges the dichotomy between populism and reasonable discussion. It investigates how the rhetoric of populism can be transformed to meaningful political conversations. The vision is to find practical ways in which societies can be hospitable to inclusive, reflective, and other-regarding discussions amidst deep divisions. Attention is focused on the case of the Philippines under the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte, but the lessons can be applied to various contexts where populist rhetoric has gained traction. The strategy is simple. A series of deliberative forums will be convened where citizens can reflect on the character of political talk in the Philippines and propose possibilities for enhancing political discussions today. Findings from this citizen-driven forum will be used to forge conversations with government, media, and other stakeholders. Overall, the project aims to make an evidence-based contribution to the future of participatory communication in populist times.

  • Power in high-stake deliberative settings: Analytical insights from linguistics

    < Back Power in high-stake deliberative settings: Analytical insights from linguistics Simona Zimmermann, University of Stuttgart Tue 28 November 2017 The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra Abstract What role does power have in real-world mini-publics with real-life consequences? This question has hardly been studied. Yet, experiences from high-stake settings of deliberation that have consequences for participants’ everyday lives - for example in respect to their reputation and relations in the local polity - are highly relevant for integrating deliberative mini-publics in everyday-political life. Based on this reflection, the presented research project seeks to understand the meaning and role of power in the relational network among participants in citizen assemblies of a local small-scale participatory budget institution in Berlin’s district Treptow-Köpenick (Germany). These assemblies discuss and decide over the distribution of a fixed budget among neighbourhood projects which is a competence rarely ceded to citizens by German authorities. For analysis, assemblies are videotaped and studied ethnomethodologically based on a relational approach. The presentation will focus on the contributions linguistics can make to the analysis of power relations in deliberative settings. About the speaker Simona Zimmermann is a PhD candidate in political sciences at the University of Stuttgart (Prof. André Bächtiger). She holds a Master degree in Empirical Social and Political Analysis of the University of Stuttgart and a Diploma and Master from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (SciencesPo) Bordeaux. Her research interests include deliberative forms of citizen participation and politics in urban planning. She aims at working inter- and transdisciplinary in order to develop solutions for societal challenges. In her PhD project Simona analyses relations of power in deliberative mini publics under a network perspective by qualitative methods of inquiry. Case study is a local participatory budget in Berlin Treptow-Köpenick (Germany). Before obtaining a scholarship from the national talent program (Friedrich-Ebert Foundation), Simona worked in an interdisciplinary research group on sustainable urban mobility (Institute of Urban Design, University of Stuttgart). Here, she occasionally teaches concepts and methods of the social sciences to students in urban planning and architecture. Previous Next

  • Alessandra Pecci

    < Back Alessandra Pecci Research Assistant About Alessandra worked as Research Assistant at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the Australian National University from 2009 to 2011.

  • Andrew Knops

    < Back Andrew Knops Associate About Andrew Knops' interests lie broadly in political sociology, especially the theory and practice of democracy, although he also teaches research methods. He is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Birmingham.

  • Building Democratic Resilience: Public Sphere Responses to Violent Extremism

    < Back Building Democratic Resilience: Public Sphere Responses to Violent Extremism Selen A. Ercan, Jordan McSwiney, Peter Balint, and John S. Dryzek 2022 , State of NSW, Department of Premier and Cabinet ​ Summary Violent extremism threatens human life and safety. Often overlooked is how violent extremists endanger the public sphere, which is comprised of the practices, institutions and actors that sustain communication about matters of common concern. Violent extremists seek to undermine the public sphere by sowing division, distrust, and fear. How should the public sphere respond to the threats posed by the violent extremism? The report, Building Democratic Resilience offers a framework for examining and improving the public sphere responses to violent extremism. It develops the concept of ‘democratic resilience’ drawing on the theory of deliberative democracy, and empirical research on countering violent extremism (CVE) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It explains how ‘democratic resilience’ differs from and supplements ‘community resilience’, which is the current resilience framework used by the NSW Government. The report offers key insights for academics, public servants, policy makers and the journalists working to develop strategies for tackling violent extremism Read more Previous Next

  • Jonathan Pickering

    < Back Jonathan Pickering Faculty Affiliate About Jonathan Pickering's research focuses on democracy and justice in global environmental governance, with an emphasis on climate change and biodiversity. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Politics, Economics and Society at the University of Canberra, where he teaches International Relations.

  • John Parkinson

    < Back John Parkinson Former PhD student About John is a Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Maastricht University and holds the post of Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance.

  • Mohammad Abdul-Hwas

    < Back Mohammad Abdul-Hwas PhD Candidate About Mohammad’s research focuses on refugee governance and deliberative democracy. His passion to study and research a refugees’ affairs is drawn from his family’s Palestinian heritage. Before moving to Australia, Mohammad completed his undergraduate degree in business at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He then worked at Fairfax Media and completed a Postgraduate Diploma at Massey University. In 2016, he completed his Master of Management from University of Canberra. It was while pursuing his master’s degree that Mohammad dove into the world of leadership and governance. Connecting with Syrian refugees drove Mohammad to research deliberative democracy, with the ambition to improve the experience and agency for people caught in a refugee crisis. Dissertation Mohammad’s PhD thesis is titled “The governance of refugees from a deliberative system perspective: The case of Syrian refugee crisis”. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) describes the Syrian refugee crisis as ‘the largest displacement crisis of our time’. Using a deliberative systems approach, the research demonstrates the various ways in which decisions that impact the lives of refugees are made. Deliberative system is a fitting approach to understand the relationship between vulnerable communities and decision-makers, particularly its normative emphasis on inclusiveness, authenticity, and consequentiality. Mohammad conducted eight weeks of extensive fieldwork in refugee camps and urban centres in Jordan to investigate all aspects that surround refugee’s governance and decision making. There are two key reasons for this research benefit. First, humanitarian actors hold power in managing the lives of refugees; It is worth investigating how they conduct politics, and whether their practices serve to promote decisions that are justifiable to those who will experience their impact. Second, refugee governance and deliberative democracy emerge from different traditions, these two fields are running on parallel tracks; They need to be connected to identify pathways by which refugees can gain voice and influence in shaping their future, and to investigate whether humanitarian actors can do better. PhD supervisors Nicole Curato (Primary Supervisor) Brendan McCaffrie (Secondary Supervisor) Teaching S EMESTER 2, 2023: Academic Tutor, University of Canberra Unit Title: Investigating and Explaining Society (11236.1) Organisation: Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society. Faculty of Business, Government & Law. University of Canberra, Australia. SEMESTER 2, 2023: Academic Tutor, University of Canberra Unit Title: Introduction to Public Policy (11378.1) Organisation: Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society. Faculty of Business, Government & Law. University of Canberra, Australia. SEMESTER 2, 2023: Academic Tutor-University of Canberra Accelerated Pathways program H course: Politics and Democracy (APP) (11846). Organisation: Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society. University of Canberra, Australia. SEMESTER 1, 2023: Academic Tutor-University of Canberra Unit Title: Political and Social Theory (11243.1) Organisation: Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society. Faculty of Business, Government & Law. University of Canberra, Australia. SEMESTER 2, 2022: Academic Marking-University of Canberra Unit Title: Introduction to International Relations (11238.1) Organisation: Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society. Faculty of Business, Government & Law. University of Canberra, Australia. Conference Presentations “The potential and limits of deliberative democracy in the governance of refugee crisis”. New Zealand Political Studies Association (NZPSA) Annual Conference, November 30, 2022. The University of Waikato, New Zealand (Virtual Conference). “Governance of refugee crisis from a deliberative approach: Focus on public and empowered spaces”. Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Annual Conference, September 27, 2022. Australian National University, Australia. “Governing the Syrian refugee crisis: A deliberative assessment”. NEXT Generation Deliberation Celebration Symposium, June 10, 2021. KU Leuven University, Belgium (Virtual Conference). “The role of deliberation in governing the Syrian refugee crisis: Insights from the field”. Deliberative Democracy Seminar Series, October 6, 2020. University of Canberra, Australia. “Governing the Syrian refugee crisis: A deliberative perspective”. Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Conference. September 18, 2020. Virtual Conference. “The role of deliberation in governance of the Syrian refugee crisis”. Deliberative Democracy Summer School. February 5, 2020. University of Canberra, Australia. Projects Mohammad is part of a global research team on the Global Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Among the thirty researchers from different parts of the globe, he actively participated in observing deliberative engagement processes during the plenary sessions at Global Assembly COP26. Administration Co-organizer, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance’s Book reception 2022. Co-organizer, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance’s Book Harvest 2020.

  • Understanding and Evaluating Deliberative Systems

    < Back Understanding and Evaluating Deliberative Systems Investigator(s): André Bächtiger, Nicole Curato, John Dryzek, Selen A. Ercan, Eda Keremoglu-Waibler, Simon Niemeyer and Kei Nishiyama 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.

  • Beyond residual realisms: Four paths for remaking participation with science and democracy

    < Back Beyond residual realisms: Four paths for remaking participation with science and democracy Matthew Kearnes, University of New South Wales Tue 12 December 2017 11:00am - 12:00pm The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra Abstract In light of the contestation of the purposes and objectives of contemporary techno-political decision-making, and the emergence of a more questioning and ambivalent response to assertions of authoritative expertise, attempts to generate socially resilient political settlements across an array of policy domains have increasingly called upon the logics of ‘democratic participation’. In this context, contemporary scientific and environmental policy is increasingly characterised by institutional commitments to fostering public engagement and participation with science, together with greater transparency in the deployment of scientific expertise in decision-making. However, despite notable successes, such developments have often struggled to enhance public trust and build more socially responsive and responsible science and technology. In this paper, we argue a central reason for this is that mainstream approaches to public engagement harbour ‘residual realist’ assumptions about participation and the public. Recent studies in ‘science and technology studies’ (STS) offer an alternative way of seeing participation as co-produced, relational and emergent. In this paper, we build on these approaches by setting out a framework comprising of four interrelating paths and associated criteria for remaking public participation with science and democracy in more experimental, reflexive, anticipatory, and responsible ways. This comprises moves to: forge reflexive participatory practices that attend to their framing, emergence, uncertainties, and effects; ecologise participation through attending to the interrelations between diverse public engagements; catalyse practices of anticipatory reflection to bring about responsible democratic innovations; and reconstitute participation as constitutive of (not separate from) systems of science and democracy. We close by offering some reflections on the ways in which these approaches might be taken up in both analytically and normatively inspired work and scholarship. About the speaker Matthew Kearnes is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and member of the of Environmental Humanities Group at the School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales. Before arriving at UNSW he held post-doctoral positions at the Department of Geography at the Open University and the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change/Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. Most recently he held a Research Councils UK Fellowship at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience/Department of Geography, Durham University. Matthew's research is situated between the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS), human geography and contemporary social theory. His current work is focused on the social and political dimensions of technological and environmental change, including ongoing work on the development of negative emission strategies and soil carbon sequestration. He has published widely on the ways in which the development of novel and emerging technologies is entangled with profound social, ethical and normative questions. Matthew serves on the editorial board Science, Technology and Society (Sage) and on the advisory panel for Science as Culture (Taylor & Francis). For more information about Matthew’s research please visit and at @mbkearnes Previous Next

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