Deliberative systems project wins Australian research funding

iu-27I am delighted to announce that I’ve won an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for a project to map and compare three deliberative systems in Australia, Scotland, and the United States.

The project aims to understand why some promises of a ‘national conversation’ on a policy issue seem to be mere hyperbole, while others seem more authentic. Using a combination of deliberative systems theory, the aims and understandings of key actors in each case, and the online and qualitative methods that André Bächtiger and I are developing, the project will compare three cases that claimed to spark a national conversation: the Scottish National Conversation 2007–14; debates around the Affordable Care Act in the United States, 2009; and the ongoing issue of Indigenous constitutional recognition in Australia. It will then attempt to draw lessons for implementing good practice in Australia and elsewhere.

Plans will be refined over the coming months, with an official start date in January 2016. I will be creating a project blog and twitter feed, and will post when they are up and running.

Plus, there will be a Research Assistant position available, to work with me over 12-18 months of the project. I will be advertising that position in the new year, so if you are, or if you know of, an early-career researcher who might be interested, follow me on twitter and keep an eye out for updates. Australian citizens or residents will get first bite, but there may be opportunities for others too. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to my colleagues at Griffith for all the work they put in to help get the project to this point, as well as to the ARC. Thanks too to my former colleagues at Warwick and friends at the Academy of Government, University of Edinburgh, who helped me persist and polish this – I will be calling on some of you soon!


3 responses to “Deliberative systems project wins Australian research funding”

  1. Avatar

    Great news John – look forward to progress


    Doreen Grove | INGAGE | Local Government & Community Scottish Government | 3 H North | Victoria Quay | Leith | EH6 6QQ t|0131 244 3276 | m 07767343230

  2. […] I’m hiring a research assistant (or possibly two) to work on my ARC-funded research project, Sparking a National Conversation. […]

  3. […] But alas, the path of democracy never did run smoothly. Suffice to say that cracks begin to emerge when you are outside the room. If decisions are legitimate to the extent that they have been deliberated upon, then the decisions made by a mini-public suffer a legitimacy deficit, given the typically small group involved (Parkinson 2003). And although some recent Citizens’ Juries have sought to expand the number of participants, this diminishes the quality of dialogue (Chambers 2009). Furthermore, in the past 15 years a growing number of scholars have sought to move beyond the mini-public paradigm in deliberative democracy to tackle deliberation at the large scale – through deliberative systems (Dryzek 2009; Parkinson and Mansbridge 2012), deliberative cultures (Sass and Dryzek 2013) and deliberative societies. […]

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