Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Seminar

Deliberative Democracy Panel at 2015 Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference

Mon 28 September 2015 to Wed 30 September 2015Convenors: Dr Nicole Curato, Professor John Dryzek, Dr Selen Ercan, Dr Carolyn Hendriks, Professor John Parkinson and Mr Jensen SassUniversity of Canberra, Australia

Call for Papers for Panel Proposals on Deliberative Democracy

Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) for one of the following panels to:
Ms Juliana Rocha (juliana.rocha | at | canberra.edu.au) by 23 March 2015

Panel 1: The Politics and Potentials of Democratic Innovations

Convenors: John Dryzek (University of Canberra) and Carolyn Hendriks (Australian National University)

A host of democratic innovations have emerged in practice and theory that seek to deepen how people participate in policy deliberations and political decision-making. Such innovations include participatory processes, such as ‘mini-publics’ (citizens’ juries, participatory budgeting, citizens’ assemblies etc) that bring together a group of everyday citizens to deliberate on a particular policy issue. Democratic innovations also include attempts to improve the inclusivity and deliberativeness of conventional forms of public engagement or sites of public deliberation (for example, through online activities, social media, alternative recruitment methods etc). This panel welcomes empirical and/or theoretical papers exploring the role and influence of democratic innovations, and the opportunities and challenges they pose to contemporary democracies. The panel is especially interested in papers that connect to scholarly debates in deliberative democracy and/or participatory democracy. 

Panel 2: Deliberative Systems: Theory, Practice and Methodology

Convenors: Nicole Curato (University of Canberra) and Selen Ercan (University of Canberra) 

In recent years, deliberative democrats have increasingly turned their attention to a ‘systemic approach’ in examining deliberative theory and practice. Such shift 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. Despite its promise to overcome issues in deliberative democratic scholarship, the deliberative systems approach also raises questions with respect to its theoretical contributions and precise applications in empirical political studies. We welcome papers that illustrate the theoretical and empirical potency of the deliberative systems approach as well as its limitations in making sense of contemporary politics. 

Panel 3: Deliberation and Culture

Convenors: John Parkinson (Griffith University) and Jensen Sass (Yale University)

Only recently have deliberative democrats begun examining the role that culture plays in deliberation. They have asked how culture shapes deliberation across different institutional and historical contexts and why deliberative norms emerge in the first place. These are welcome questions, but there is a history of critique of the use of the culture concept in political science, and any prospective “cultural” approach to the study of deliberation will trigger suspicion. This panel will bring together papers which tackle questions central to this prospective research agenda, papers which: (1) Interrogate culture at the conceptual level, pushing beyond the values surveys of Almond & Verba, at one pole, and the interpretivism of 1970s anthropology, on the other; (2) Explore methodologies for the systematic reconstruction of deliberative cultures, whether ethnographic, historical, experimental or otherwise; (3) Test recent theories of culture, which prioritise the notions of scripting, staging, and performance; (4) Consider how the study of deliberative cultures might inform normative theory.


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