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Political Science in Europe

Learning from Each Other: Democratic Innovation Research and Quality of Democracy Measurements

Panel Number
Panel Chair
Brigitte Geißel
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Panel Co-Chair
Quinton Mayne
Harvard University

Democratic innovations are currently en vogue. More and more citizens as well as politicians and political scientists pin their hopes on participatory procedures as means to cure current malaises of representative democracy. At the same time another field of research became vital: measuring the quality of democracy. Scholars are increasingly concerned how to evaluate consolidated democracies with their deficiencies and qualities. It is therefore quite surprising that up to now both strands of research have hardly been connected. Although democratic-innovation studies often intend to investigate benefits (and pitfalls) of participatory procedures for the quality of democracy they seldom refer to quality-of-democracy indices. At the same time quality-of-democracy research seems to have little interest in democratic-innovation studies. This panel will connect both strands of research and examine for example, whether democratic-innovation studies cover crucial principles neglected in the quality-of-democracy literature. One illustration: democratic-innovations literature emphasizes citizens’ democratic skills as a crucial indicator for the quality of democracy, whereas quality-of-democracy indices neglect citizens’ democratic skills and mainly measure the democratic quality of institutions (including liberties and rights). In this panel we invite papers which discuss whether and how the quality-of-democracy literature and democratic-innovations studies can learn from each other.

Paper List

Title Details
Bringing Citizens Back In View Paper Details
Democratic Innovation and Democratic Quality in Latin America View Paper Details
Democratic Innovations and Quality of Democracy: Do We Need New and More Creative Recipes? View Paper Details
Italy 1992-2012: Twenty Years of Democracy Without Quality? View Paper Details
Participatory Budget and the New Tools for Participation: How Effective is the SICONV in Brazil? View Paper Details
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