Building: VMP 8 Floor: 2 Room: 208
The ”systematic turn” of deliberative democracy has put more focus on the ability of the normative theory to deal with the complexity of the real world. According to Kuyper (2015), central to this development is the democratic “division of epistemic labor,” under which experts, public servants, and the politically engaged may compensate for the relative ignorance of democratic citizens at large. However, central goals like inclusion and the all affected principle cannot be fully met if deliberation is left to those who are politically sophisticated and interested. Deliberative mini-publics, such as Deliberative Polling ® (Fishkin 1991), are forums where citizens representing different viewpoints are gathered together to deliberate on a particular issue in small-n groups (Grönlund et al. 2014). By providing information and a facilitated deliberation, mini-publics aim at informed views. The organizers’ of mini-publics try to achieve a diversity of viewpoints among participants, the goal being a microcosm of the people (Fishkin 2009). In order to achieve diversity of participants, some kind of random sampling is typically used when recruiting people to mini-publics. Thus, the mini-publics’ view could serve as a proxy for an informed public opinion, and could become an institutionalized part of a deliberative system. The panel consists of theoretical and empirically oriented papers that enhance our understanding of the role of mini-publics in deliberative democracy. What should that role be? How much decisional weight, if any, should mini-publics have in actual decisions?