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Deliberation, against all odds?: The critical prospects of mini-publics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6526-0642
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, the theory of deliberative democracy has encountered multiple challenges. In this thesis, I explore the prospects of a particular type of deliberative democratic institution – deliberative mini-publics – in three essays. In the first essay, I discuss the challenge of combining mini-publics with institutions for preference aggregation, such as elections. I address the concern that citizens of a society dominated by aggregative institutions could be discouraged from the collective and cooperative form of participation required by mini-publics. Studying the effect of the right to vote on citizenship norms, I find no support for this concern. On the contrary, I show that elections boost support for non-electoral forms of political participation. In the second essay, I focus on the concept of descriptive representation in mini-publics to investigate previous studies’ tendency to introduce aggregative elements to deliberative institutions. I find that current conceptualizations of descriptive representation in the mini-publics literature tend to primarily address concerns about the democratic legitimacy of a political institution consisting of unelected representatives. I argue that mini-publics can be considered legitimate if the notion of legitimacy is detached from elections. After showing that mini-publics do not necessarily suffer from a lack of legitimacy, I suggest an argument for descriptive representation that better serves the mini-publics' aim of facilitating high-quality deliberation. The third essay is motivated by a call from theorists to treat social differences as a resource that can enhance deliberative processes, rather than an obstacle. I test whether emphasizing social differences in mini-publics makes humble communication and reflexivity – elements that constitute normative conditions of deliberation – less likely. Analysing the effect of increased social group salience on expectations of deliberation, I find that emphasizing group differences raises expectations of observing and acknowledging differences without lowering the prospects of humble communication and reflexivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. , p. 18
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 163
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368969ISBN: 978-91-513-0532-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-368969DiVA, id: diva2:1269870
Public defence
2019-02-08, Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-01-18 Created: 2018-12-11 Last updated: 2020-03-25
List of papers
1. What citizens learn from elections: The normative consequences of the right to vote
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What citizens learn from elections: The normative consequences of the right to vote
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368964 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2018-12-11
2. Interpretative interactions: An argument for descriptive representation in deliberative mini-publics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interpretative interactions: An argument for descriptive representation in deliberative mini-publics
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368967 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2018-12-11
3. Social difference and the common good: An experiment on the effect of group salience on citizen deliberation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social difference and the common good: An experiment on the effect of group salience on citizen deliberation
2022 (English)In: Journal of deliberative democracy, ISSN 2634-0488, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mini-publics, such as citizens' assemblies and citizens' juries, typically invite a small number of citizens to deliberate on a political issue. To ensure the inclusion of different social groups, scholars usually suggest stratified or quota sampling. However, given that the sampling method is known to selected participants, such measures not only secure the presence of individuals from different social groups; they also emphasize the salience of social group differences. Since the deliberative process involves both highlighting and transcending differences, this paper explores whether the emphasis on social group difference associated with stratified and quota sampling triggers a trade-off between expectations of observing and acknowledging differences, on the one hand, and expectations of humble communication and reflexivity in deliberation, on the other hand. The main finding is that emphasizing group differences raises expectations of observing and acknowledging differences without lowering the prospect of humble communication and reflexivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Westminster Press, 2022
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-368968 (URN)10.16997/jdd.952 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2022-10-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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