Dr Selen ErcanAssociate Professor of Politics & Academic Convener of Graduate Research Forum


Address: Building 23, Level B University of Canberra Phone: + 61 (0) 2 6201 5774


Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance


Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra

Research Interests

Theory and practice of democracy, deliberative democracy, agonistic pluralism, identity politics, multiculturalism, social movements, alternative forms of political participation, and interpretive political research.

Connect with Selen


Selen Ercan is an Associate Professor in Politics at the Institute's Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. Her work sits at the intersection of normative political theory and empirical political research and examines the prospects for public deliberation in the face of irreconcilable value conflicts and polarised policy debates.

Currently, Selen is working on a large research project funded by the Australian Research Council, entitled ‘Realising Democracy amid Communicative Plenty: A Deliberative Systems Approach’. In this project, Selen’s research examines the deliberative potential of alternative forms of political participation/claims-making in the public sphere.

Selen's recent publications appeared in International Political Science Review, Politics and Policy, Environmental Politics, Australian Journal of Political Science, Journal of Sociology, American Behavioral Scientist, Critical Policy Studies, Policy Studies, and Democratic Theory.

Selen holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from Middle East Technical University (Turkey), a MA in Political Science and Sociology from Heidelberg University (Germany), and a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University.  


  • PhD in Political Science (2012), Australian National University. 
  • M.A in Political Science and Sociology, University of Heidelberg. 
  • B.A in Political Science and Public Administration, METU.


  • 2018-current. Associate Professor of Politics & Academic Convener of the Graduate Research Forum, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

  • 2015-2017. Senior Research Fellow & Academic Convener of the Graduate Reserach Forum, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra
  • 2013-2015. Postdoctoral Research Fellow & Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Convener, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra
  • 2012-2013. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University
  • 2009-2010. Research Associate, ARC Project, ‘Communication across Difference in a Democracy’, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University (with Prof John Dryzek)
  • 2008-2009. Research Associate, ARC Project, ‘Citizens’ Parliament’, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University (with Prof John Dryzek)
  • 2006- 2008. Research Associate, ARC Project, Micropolitics of Deliberation, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University (with Prof John Dryzek and Dr Simon Niemeyer)
  • 2001-2005. Research Associate, DFG Projects, ‘Parties and Democracy in the European Union’; and ‘Citizenship, Involvement, and Democracy’, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim (with Prof Jan van Deth and Prof Sigrid Rosteutscher)


  • 2017. German Academic Exchange Fellow, Stuttgart Unviersity, Program for Political Theory and Empirical Research on Democracy, March-April, Germany (funded by German Academic Exchange Service [DAAD]).
  • 2015. Visiting Teaching Fellow, University of Nagoya, Graduate School of Law, Global 30 Program, May-July, Japan. (Courses taught: European Comparative Politics; Theory and Practice of Deliberative Democracy).
  • 2014. Visiting Teaching Fellow, University of Minas Gerais, Political Science Program, November 2014, Brazil (Course taught: Interpretive Methods in Political Science Research).




Journal Articles

  • Ransan-Cooper, H., Ercan, S.A, and Duus, S. (forthcoming), “When anger meets joy: How emotions mobilise and sustain the anti-coal seam gas movement in regional Australia”, Social Movement Studies. 

  • Ercan, S.A, Hendriks, C.M, Dryzek J.S. (2018), “Public deliberation in an era of communicative plenty”, Policy and Politics, Online first version. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2017), “Engaging with extremism in a multicultural society: A deliberative democratic approach”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 12(2), 9-21. [Read Here]

  • Curato, N., Dryzek, J., Ercan, S.A., Hendriks, C.M. and Niemeyer, S. (2017), “Twelve key findings in deliberative democracy research”, Daedalus, Summer Issue, 28-38. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2017), “From polarisation to pluralisation: A deliberative democratic approach to illiberal cultures”, International Political Science Review, 38(1), 114-127. [Read Here]

  • Ercan, S.A., Hendriks, C. and Boswell, J. (2017), “Studying public deliberation after the systemic turn: The crucial role for interpretive research”, Policy and Politics 45(2), 195-212. [Read Here] (Recipient of 2017 Ken Young Best Paper Prize)

  • Ercan, S.A. and Dzur, A. (2016), “Participatory democracy in unlikely places: What democratic theorists can learn from democratic professionals”, Democratic Theory, 3(2), 94-113. [Read Here]

  • Hendriks, C.M, Duus, S. and Ercan, S.A. (2016), “Performing politics on social media: the dramaturgy of an environmental controversy in Facebook”, Environmental Politics, 25(6), 1102-1125 [Read Here]

  • Boswell, J., Hendriks, C., and Ercan, S.A. (2016), “Message received? Examining transmission in deliberative systems”, Critical Policy Studies,10(3) 263-383. [Read Here]
  • Schirmer, J., Dare, L. and Ercan, S.A. (2016), “Deliberative democracy and the Tasmanian Forest Peace Process”, Australian Journal of Political Science, 51(2), 288-307. [Read Here]
  • Elstub, S., Ercan, S.A. and Mendonca, R.F. (2016), “The fourth generation of deliberative democracy”, Critical Policy Studies, 10(2), 139-151. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Dryzek, J. (2015), “The reach of deliberative democracy”, Policy Studies 36(3), 241-248. [Read Here]

  • Mendonça, R.F and Ercan, S.A. (2015), “Deliberation and protest: strange bedfellows? Revealing the deliberative potential of 2013 protests in Turkey and Brazil”, Policy Studies, 36(3), 267-282 [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Dryzek, J. (2015), “Conclusion: The reach of deliberative democracy”, Policy Studies 36(3), 359-361. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2015), “Creating and Sustaining Evidence for "Failed Multiculturalism": The Case of ‘Honour Killing’” in Germany, American Behavioral Scientist, 59( 6), 658-678. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Gagnon, J-P. (2014), “Crisis of Democracy, Which Crisis? Which Democracy?”, Democratic Theory, 1(2), 1-10. [Read Here]
  • Gozdecka, D., Ercan, S.A. and Kmak, M. (2014), “From Multiculturalism to Post-multiculturalism: Trends and Paradoxes”, Journal of Sociology, 50, 51- 64. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Hendriks, C. (2013), “The Democratic Challenges and Potential of Localism: Insights from Deliberative Democracy”, Policy Studies, 34(4), 422-440. [Read Here]
  • Niemeyer, S., Ercan, S.A. and Hartz-Karp, J. (2013), “Understanding Deliberative Citizens: The Application of Q Methodology to Deliberation on Policy Issues”, Operant Subjectivity, 36(2), 114-134. [Read Here]
  • Kanra, B. and Ercan, S.A. (2012), “Negotiating Difference in a Muslim society: A Longitudinal Study of Islamic and Secular Discourses in the Turkish Public Sphere”, Digest of Middle East Studies, 21(1), 69-88. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Pütz, C. (2006), “Backstage Actors of the European Union? Understanding the Role of the Euro-Parties in the emergence of a European Public Sphere”, CESAA Review 34, 42-58. [Read Here]


  • Elstub, S., Ercan, S.A. and Mendonca, R.F. (eds) (2018), “Deliberative Systems in Theory and Practice”, London: Routledge. [Read Here]

Refereed Book Chapters

  • Marsh, D., Ercan, S.A. and Furlong, P. (2017). “A Skin, not a Sweater: Ontology and Epistemology in Poltical Science”. In Lowndes, V., Marsh, D and Stoker, G. (eds.) Theory and Methods in Political Science 4th edition). London, Palgrave Macmillan pp.177-198
  • Ercan, S.A. and Marsh, D. (2016). “Qualitative Methods in Political Science”. In: Keman, H. and Woldendorp, J. (eds.) Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 309-320. [Read Here]
  • Mendonca, R. and Ercan, S.A. (2015), “Deliberation and Protest: Revealing the Deliberative Potential of Protest Movements in Turkey and Brazil”. In Fischer, F. et al (eds.), Handbook of Critical Policy Studies, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.205-222.
  • Ercan, S.A. (2015), “Democratizing Identity Politics: A Deliberative Approach to the Politics of Recognition”. In Gozdecka, D. and Kmak, M., eds, Europe at the Edge of Pluralism, Benelux, Intersentia, pp. 11-26.
  • Gozdecka, D. and Ercan, S.A. (2015), “What is Post-multiculturalism?”. In Gozdecka, D. and Kmak, M. (eds.) Europe at the Edge of Pluralism, Benelux: Intersentia, pp. 27-41.
  • Ercan, S.A. (2014), “Deliberative Democracy”. In Phillips, D., ed., Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy, Los Angeles, SAGE, pp. 214-218. [Read Here]

  • Ercan, S.A. (2014), “Same Problem, Different Solutions: The Case of ‘Honour Killing’ in Germany and Britain”. In Gill, A., Roberts, K. and Strange, C. (eds.) ‘Honour’ Killing and Violence. Theory, Policy and Practice. London, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.199-217. [Read Here]

  • Ercan, S.A. (2011), “The Deliberative Politics of Cultural Diversity: Beyond Interest and Identity Politics?”, In Monsouri, F. and Lobo, M. (eds.) Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations. Looking through the Lens of Social Inclusion, Surrey: Ashgate, pp. 75- 88. [Read Here]

  • Dryzek, J., Ercan, S.A. and et al (2010), “Deliberative democracy”. In Bevir, M. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Political Theory, Volume 1, Los Angeles: Sage, pp. 352-356. 

  • Ercan, S.A. and Pütz, C. (2005), “Euro-Parties as Transnational Networks”. In Finke, B. and Knodt, M. (eds.) European Civil Society: Concepts, Actors, Strategies, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 389-408 (in German).

Other Publications (Book reviews, research reports, blogs)

  • Ercan, S.A., Hendriks, C.M. and Boswell, J. (2018) ‘Catching methods up to concepts: Using interpretive methods to study public deliberation’, Politics Upside Down, University of Southampton. [Read Here]

  • Ercan, S.A. (2017) ‘Sisters in yarn: The rise and rise of small p politics’, Broadagenda, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra. [Read Here]

  • Ercan, S.A. (2017), Book Review, “Solidarity Across Divides: Promoting the Moral Point of View”, by Vasilev, G. (Edinburgh University Press), Political Studies Review, 15(2), 271-272 [Read Here

  • Ercan, S.A. (2014), “Dangerous Silence: Debating "Honour Killings”, Open Democracy. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. and Gagnon, J-P. (2014), “When is Crisis Good for Democracy?”, The Crick Centre. Republished by Sydney Democracy Network. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2014). “The Harm in Hate Speech” by Waldron, J., Harvard University Press, 2012, Political Studies Review, 12, 1, pp. 137. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2011), “Habermas: A Guide for Perplexed” by Thomassen, L., Political Studies Review, 9(2), 235-236. [Read Here]
  • Ercan, S.A. (2011), “Multiculturalism and Moral Conflict” by Maria Dimova-Cookson, M. and Stirk, P. (eds.), Political Studies Review, 9(2), 224-225.
  • Ercan, S.A. (2011), “Islam, Democracy and Dialogue in Turkey. Deliberating in Divided Societies” by Kanra, B, Political Studies Review, 9(2), 283-284.
  • Niemeyer, S., Ayirtman, S. and J. Hartz-Karp (2008), “Achieving Success in Large Scale Deliberation: Analysis of the Fremantle Bridge Community Engagement Process”, Research Report, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra. [Read Here]

  • Niemeyer, S., Ercan, S. A. (2007), “Analysis of the UBC Biobank deliberative process”, Research Report, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra.

Research Projects & Grants
PhD Supervision

Areas of supervision

  • Deliberative democracy (theory, practice, analysis)
  • Social movements and alternative forms of political participation
  • Identity politics and multiculturalism
  • Interpretive research methods 

Current PhD supervision

  • Jane Alver, "Regional Sisterhood? Exploring the spaces of talk and action towards gender equality in the Pacific region", (Primary Supervisor).This project responds to the problem of shrinking spaces for civil society input at the global level and seeks to understand the role of feminist civil society organisations (CSOs) in achieving gender equality at a regional level. 

  • Kei Nishiyama, "Children in Deliberative System", (Secondary Supervisor) This project explores the ways in which children can be seen as the current agents rather than future citizens of deliberative democracy.

  • Thaneshwar Bhusal, "The democratising potential of democratic innovations in the context of municipal governance in Nepal" (Advisor).

Completed PhD projects

  • Samuel A. Antero, "The practice of citizen-centric governance in Brazil", (Advisor).

  • Catherine Clutton, "Cultural competence in health related public policy deliberations: Engaging with immigrants in Australia and Canada",  Australian National University (Advisor).

  • Cletius Puteho, "Critical assessment of Australian settlement reception: The case of African humanitarian refugee entrants in Australia", (Secondary supervisor, PhD completed in October 2015).

  • Emma Vines, "Containing English nationalism: The British political tradition and elite responses to the “English question”, (Secondary supervisor, PhD completed in December 2015).


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