Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Seminar

Upcoming: A multi-level cluster analysis of young scholars' studies in deliberative democracy: Is deliberative democracy still an unfalsifiable theory?

Tue 28 July 2020Speaker: Francesco Veri, University of Canberra / 11:00am - 12:00pmVirtual seminar


Mutz in 2008 criticized deliberative democracy to be an unfalsifiable theory. However, since then theory has evolved into a systemic dimension and a new generation of scholars has emerged. In light of these theoretical developments, the question of theory falsifiability in the field remains unexplored. This presentation investigates, through a systematic cluster analysis, young scholars’ research in relation to the issues of concepts and causal relationship ambiguities. The cluster analysis follows three distinctive analytical levels. First, I used literature on the interdependency between theoretical contribution and empirical articles to classify young researchers’ contribution into a specific taxonomical frame. Second, I performed a two-step cluster analysis to individuate patterns across cases. In this phase of the analysis, I identified which cluster of cases are associated with theory falsifiability and theory unfalsifiability. In conclusion, I assessed the validity of the results of the two-step cluster analysis through coincidence analysis (CNA). CNA allows us to identify complex causal relationships that explain theory falsifiability in deliberative democracy. This ultimately provides insight on how to examine deliberative democracy in light of the systemic turn. As shown by the results, deliberative democracy largely remains unfalsifiable, but some promising methodological approaches are emerging. 



Francesco Veri is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. He is currently working on the Australian Research Council's (ARC) project " A Meta-Study of Democratic Deliberation: Advancing Theory and Practice” led by Simon Niemeyer, Nicole Curato and John Dryzek.

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