This panel revisits the wider questions of the section and attempts to assess the state of the art in democratic innovation research. The panel participants, who represent a range of research traditions and contexts in the field, will reflect how the research agenda has developed alongside the political agenda. They will discuss how the theoretical tensions between deliberative quality and inclusive participation have been addressed in theory and practice, empirical research and evaluation, and to what degree the practice of deliberative democracy represents an emancipatory or a disciplinary project. Reflecting on research methods, the roundtable will critically assess the merits of diverging approaches, such as the action research tradition and the recent wave of scientification in democratic innovation research. The roundtable will also reflect how the interplay of empirical research and theoretical reflection has enhanced our understanding of (deliberative and participatory) democracy and stimulated the practice of democracy. Panelists will finally formulate an agenda for democratic innovation research in an era of austerity, perpetual crisis management and rising social conflict.