Deliberative democracy

Be careful what you wish for: Brexit and the call for another referendum

Be careful what you wish for: Brexit and the call for another referendum

Whether or not to hold a referendum on Brexit is a clear dividing line between parties in the upcoming UK general election. However, Philipp Harms and Claudia Landwehr argue that support for such a measure is often largely contingent on expected outcomes, and so can entrench political divides. More deliberative democratic innovations might therefore be better suited to resolving the UK’s political conflicts.

NHS Citizen and what it tells us about designing democratic innovations as deliberative systems

NHS Citizen and what it tells us about designing democratic innovations as deliberative systems

Rikki Dean, John Boswell and Graham Smith analyse an attempt to design a systems-oriented democratic innovation: the NHS Citizen initiative. They write that, while the initiative pioneered some cutting-edge participatory design, it failed to resolve well-known obstacles to institutionalisation. They argue that similar projects must evolve strategies to meet such challenges.

How to design deliberative democratic assemblies in an inclusive way: a recommendation for policy-makers

How to design deliberative democratic assemblies in an inclusive way: a recommendation for policy-makers

When faced with political deadlock, many campaigners suggest employing democratic innovations like citizens’ assemblies, in which a group of citizens come together to deliberate and make direct policy recommendations. If the role of these new democratic institutions is to grow within the UK political system, it is crucial to make them more inclusive and sensitive to intersectionality, argues Marta Wojciechowska. The key is not to employ single or ‘one-off’ acts of inclusion but rather to promote the leadership of disempowered people and to diversify the contexts in which democratic innovations take place.