Eight ways to institutionalise deliberative democracy

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OECD Public Governance Policy Papers, No. 12, 14 December 2021

Building on the work CAPaD did with the OECD last year, this paper outlines eight participatory and deliberative models “for institutionalising representative public deliberation to improve collective decision making and strengthen democracy.

Deliberative bodies like citizens’ assemblies create the democratic spaces for broadly representative groups of people to learn together, grapple with complexity, listen to one another, and find common ground on solutions.

Increasingly, public authorities are reinforcing democracy by making use of deliberative processes in a structural way, beyond one-off initiatives that are often dependent on political will. The guide provides examples of how to create structures that allow representative public deliberation to become an integral part of how certain types of public decisions are taken.”

Eight models to consider for implementation:

  • 1. Combining a permanent citizens’ assembly with one-off citizens’ panels
  • 2. Connecting representative public deliberation to parliamentary committees
  • 3. Combining deliberative and direct democracy
  • 4. Standing citizens’ advisory panels
  • 5. Sequenced representative deliberative processes throughout the policy cycle
  • 6. Giving people the right to demand a representative deliberative process
  • 7. Requiring representative public deliberation before certain types of public decisions
  • 8. Embedding representative deliberative processes in local strategic planning

Full paper here.


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