2017 deliberative democracy summer school announced

The 2017 edition of the University of Canberra’s excellent deliberative summer schools has just been announced. These are great – two days, 30-or-so participants from big names to just-starting PhD students, focusing on cutting edge themes in deliberative theory and practice, with lovely hosts and great surrounds. The 2015 event was excellent and I’m sure this won’t disappoint, so register now! Contact details are on the poster … Continue reading 2017 deliberative democracy summer school announced

Appearing in a seminar room near you…

I’ve been remiss in posting news about travel, seminars etc – actually, I’ve been remiss about posting anything at all, and plead the usual feeble excuses. But the northern Spring is the season for conferences and workshops in Europe, and this year I’ll be concentrating on two engagements in the first half of the year, with possibly one other set in the second half. The first is the … Continue reading Appearing in a seminar room near you…

Deliberative systems project wins Australian research funding

I 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 … Continue reading Deliberative systems project wins Australian research funding

Am I the only one who thinks driverless cars are a slightly mad idea?

I keep seeing and hearing stories about driverless cars but am getting increasingly struck by a visual image that won’t leave me alone. It’s an image that is making me wonder whether driverless cars are evidence that we have gone collectively insane. Driverless cars are almost always promoted as being a solution to problems of safety, pollution and traffic jams — here, for example — as well as being … Continue reading Am I the only one who thinks driverless cars are a slightly mad idea?

Irish equal marriage: it’s deliberation “wot won it”

It’s a glorious morning for democrats and equal rights campaigners everywhere:  the Irish have voted nearly 2 to 1 to allow equal marriage rights regardless of sex. However, this is a big day for deliberative democrats too, because in all the coverage about the referendum, what keeps getting forgotten is that this all started with a big, deliberative, citizens’ assembly: the Irish Constitutional Convention of … Continue reading Irish equal marriage: it’s deliberation “wot won it”

Your vote IS important, Simon Burall

Simon Burall, the Director of the think tank Involve, published a blog piece today entitled ‘Your vote isn’t important’. After I’d spluttered my outrage on twitter, Simon (a) confessed he may have overdone in the title in order to attract attention; (b) tweeted a bunch of caveats; and (c) invited me to respond. So here goes. In the UK, about 45 million people are registered to … Continue reading Your vote IS important, Simon Burall