Mapping and Measuring Deliberation is out!

At last, Mapping and Measuring Deliberation, written with my friend and colleague André Bächtiger, is out now with Oxford University Press. It is, I hope, going to prove a little controversial. Essentially, it argues that much empirical social science has been confusing deliberation – the noun – with “deliberative”, an adjectival quality of democracy; and treating deliberative theory as a set of analytic criteria to … Continue reading Mapping and Measuring Deliberation is out!

The danger of policy – and deliberation – in straight lines

Teaching a class of middle- ranking policy makers last year brought to the foreground an issue I’ve been pondering for a while now. It is this: many officials focus too much on a well-defined problem, and design solutions to fix that problem directly. Indeed, they are taught, and incentivised, to do that. The vast majority of public administration and management courses and text-books preach that … Continue reading The danger of policy – and deliberation – in straight lines

Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

I was privileged yesterday to take part in a discussion on CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning show with host Robyn Bresnahan and Jennifer Ditchburn, Editor in Chief of Policy Options. Jennifer had written an excellent piece about a huge, decade-long programme to renovate the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament, something that is not being discussed but should be, because of its potential to significantly disrupt the … Continue reading Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

Closed: Research Assistant Job

I’m hiring a research assistant (or possibly two) to work on my ARC-funded research project, Sparking a National Conversation. The research assistant might contribute in a number of different ways to the project, but the right person might have one, two or all of these skill sets: e-social science or big data skills qualitative and interpretive skills experience with research in indigenous Australian politics an … Continue reading Closed: Research Assistant Job

Brexit part 2: thresholds, representation, and ‘what next?’

The other day I wrote a post-Brexit reaction which focused on the rather specialised question of how deliberative democrats ought to respond to politics in a ‘post-fact’ society. In that piece I raised but didn’t specifically respond to claims about parliamentary action and bare majorities for issues of such significance. Here’s that response. First, the issue of whether 50%+1 was the right threshold, or whether … Continue reading Brexit part 2: thresholds, representation, and ‘what next?’

Brexit, deliberative democracy, and the unforced force of the better argument

It’s more than a week after the vote in the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, and it’s taken me this long to write something. I mourn for a Britain that can be so courageous and welcoming, but has now legitimised blaming ‘the other’ to deflect blame at home. I am concerned for my many European friends in Britain, some of whom now … Continue reading Brexit, deliberative democracy, and the unforced force of the better argument