Curato, N and Böker, M (2015) Linking Mini-Publics to the Deliberative System: A Research Agenda. Policy Sciences, 49 (2). pp. 173-190. ISSN 1573-0891

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The systemic turn in deliberative democratic theory has shifted the focus away from seeking to design separate, internally deliberative ‘mini-publics’ and towards a new appreciation of their external, systemic quality. Yet, so far, such accounts have not gone beyond recognising a potential for mini-publics to contribute to deliberative systems. In this paper, we argue that a systemic conceptualisation of mini-publics must recognise their fundamentally ambivalent character: Since mini-publics have the potential both to foster and to undermine systemic deliberation, it is insufficient to celebrate their positive potential alone, and vital to develop frameworks that allow for a critical evaluation of mini-publics’ systemic role. To this end, we propose a framework based on the systemic qualities of deliberation-making, legitimacy-seeking and capacity-building, and conclude that key to mini-publics’ quality, when judged against these criteria, is not just their own features, but the degree of ‘co-development’ of all system components.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Springer at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: deliberative democracy, mini-publics, deliberative system
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 10:49
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2018 15:20

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