Building: VMP 8 Floor: 1 Room: 106
This panel explores the prospects and challenges for democratic innovation outside of the domain of political decision-making. Democratic theory has tended to conceptualise democracy predominantly in terms of will-formation and collective decision-making oriented towards legislative politics, neglecting other potential domains for democratisation (Boswell 2016). This has in turn influenced our conception of democratic innovations. Nevertheless, democratic theorists have begun to recognise potential for a deeper democratisation of systems of governance, encompassing, for instance, policy bureaucracies and civil society (Warren 2009; Mansbridge et al 2012). The first paper of this panel sets out a capacious account of the democratic system, identifying the many different potential domains for democratic innovation. Each of the other three papers then focuses on a particular arena in which citizens engage in political action beyond the narrow confines of legislative politics. They cover a diverse array of democratic practices, encompassing participation in deprived neighbourhoods, coproduction of urban governance projects, and democratisation of philanthropic giving. As such the panel attempts to extend our conception both of the boundaries of the democratic system and the potential for democratic innovation. In doing so it aims to provide new directions for intervening in social systems to make them more democratic, highlighting the challenges associated with doing democratic innovation in these varied domains and how they may be successfully overcome.