Canberra Conversation Lecture Series

A CITIZENS' AGENDA FOR THE ACT? LESSONS FROM BELGIUM'S PERMANENT CITIZENS' COUNCIL

Mon 19 August 2019Professor Min Reauchamps, Associate Professor Carolyn Hendriks, Beth Slatyer, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM, Associate Professor Simon Niemeyer Function Room, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, 180 London Circuit, CANBERRA CITY

DATE: Monday 19 August 2019
TIME: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
VENUE: Function Room, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, 180 London Circuit, CANBERRA CITY

THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE VISIT EVENTBRITE TO CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION.

 

ABOUT

In the context of declining trust in our democratic institutions, parliaments and communities around the world are looking for novel ways to govern. In some jurisdictions, for example, in the United Kingdom and in Australia, parliaments have begun using innovative participatory processes, such as citizens’ juries, to engage a group of randomly selected citizens in deliberations on issues before parliamentary inquiries.

In Belgium, a more permanent democratic innovation - a Citizens’ Council - has been established recently in the Parliament of the German-speaking community. The Citizens’ Council, which will begin in September 2019, will be composed of a rotating set of 24 randomly selected citizens who will work alongside the existing 25 elected representatives, setting agendas, supporting deliberation, and holding MPs to account.

This Canberra Conversation will discuss how the Citizen’s Council in Belgium came about, how it will work in practice, and what inspiration it offers for democratic renewal in the ACT. The Panel discussion will be moderated by Dr Simon Niemeyer, ARC Future Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at IGPA.

The Seminar is jointly convened by Professorial Fellow Jon Stanhope AO and Adjunct Professor Dr Khalid Ahmed PSM.

THE PANEL

Professor Min Reauchamps is Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Louvain with teaching and research focus on multi-level federalism and governance, democracy and its different facets, participatory and deliberative methods as well as the relationship between language and politics and in particular the role of metaphors. 

Professor Reuchamps has published a dozen books on these topics and his work has appeared in several international scientific journals. He has been a director (2009-2018), secretary (2012-2015) and president (2015-2018) of the Belgian Francophone Association of Political Science (ABSP) and the coordinator of the methodology and research unit of the G1000, and one of the architects of the Citizens’ Council in Belgium.

Professor Reuchamps is a visiting fellow at the ANU's School of Politics and International Relations and its LEAD (Leaders, Elections and Democracy) centre.

Associate Professor Carolyn Hendriks is at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. Her work examines democratic aspects of contemporary governance, including participation, deliberation, inclusion and representation. She has led numerous empirical projects in Australia, Germany and the Netherlands on the role of interests, power, networks, markets and elites in participatory modes of governing. Carolyn is an appointed member of newDemocracy Foundation’s Research Committee and sits on the editorial board of several international journals. She is the author of two books, over 30 scholarly journal articles, and numerous book chapters. 
Beth Slatyer is co-convenor of Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy. She is an Honorary Fellow at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne and works on health and development across the Pacific. She was previously a Senior Health Specialist with AusAID and through that work developed a deep appreciation of how good governance, public interest institutions and accountability underpin equitable and sustainable social and economic systems. Beth was born in Canberra, — and is committed to giving voice to all Canberrans who want a well-functioning democracy which operates in the public interest.
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM founded the newDemocracy Foundation in 2004, a not-for-profit research organization focused on political reform. He is a member of the international expert group that designed the Ostbelgien Modell. 
Associate Professor Simon Niemeyer is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. His research covers the broad fields of deliberative democracy and environmental governance, particularly in respect to climate change.
Simon’s focus is on the forces that shape public opinion and how this can be improved so that the expressed preference of the public better reflects their collective long-term interests.

THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE VISIT EVENTBRITE TO CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION.

The IGPA Canberra Conversation seminar series is supported by Canberra City News.

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