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Deliberative democracy has established a dominant position within contemporary democratic theory and the analysis of forms of participatory governance. The recent emergence of theories of deliberative systems reinforces this standing.

But does the privileging of deliberation skew the way we conceptualise and analyse democratic practices, institutions and political systems? In what ways do other theories, perspectives and approaches to democracy offer important insights that are overlooked or underplayed by deliberative democrats?

The workshop will be organised around a number of short contributions, leaving space for discussion – and deliberation. The event will be closed with a keynote address by Professor Mark Warren from the University of British Columbia. Mark is a highly influential democratic theorist and the principal investigator of Participedia.

If you wish to attend the workshop, please sign up via Eventbrite.

This event is supported by the PSA Participatory and Deliberative Democracy and ECPR Democratic Innovations Specialist Groups.


11am: Welcome and introduction – Graham Smith (Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster)
11.10am: Session 1: Deliberation in institutions and systems
Presenters: Maija Setälä (Turku); John Boswell (Southampton); Rikki Dean (LSE); Alan Finlayson (UEA)
12.40pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Session 2: Deliberative democracy as theory
Presenters: Marit Hammond (Keele); Matteo Bonotti (Cardiff); William Smith (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Amanda Machin (Zeppelin)
3pm: Tea
3.30pm: Keynote – Mark Warren (UBC) ‘A problem-based approach to democratic theory’
Discussant: David Owen (Southampton)
5pm: Close