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Political Science in Europe

Democratic Innovations: Meeting Great Expectations?

Policy Analysis
Political Participation
Referendums and Initiatives
Decision Making
Normative Theory
Section Number
Section Chair
Nicole Curato
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra
Section Co-Chair
Sofie Marien
University of Leuven

Democratic innovations are at a crossroads. For some, the time has come for these ‘citizen-centric’ initiatives to be scaled up and empowered to influence binding decisions. These innovations have established a track record in deepening democratic engagement, whether it is in the context of planning in local communities or identifying prospects for global climate change policies.

For others, however, democratic innovations have stopped being democratic and innovative. Instead of delivering on their promise of generating legitimate outcomes, policymakers and corporate interests have co-opted these democratic forums. The much cited ‘crisis of democracy’ also places democratic innovations on the spot. Why is it that the age of democratic innovations in political theory has also been the age of bigotry, fake news, and populism in political practice?

This Section is designed to get to the heart of these issues. It seeks to generate a conversation between advocates, sceptics, and observers of democratic innovations, as well as scholars that envision their future.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P103Deliberative Democracy and Populism: A (Mis)match? View Panel Details
P107Democratic Innovation Beyond Political Decision-Making View Panel Details
P108Democratic Innovation Within Political Parties View Panel Details
P109Democratic Innovations in Environmental Politics View Panel Details
P117Direct Democracy: Opinion Formation, Participation, and Effects on Citizens and Societal Outcomes View Panel Details
P156Expectations Towards Citizens in Democratic Innovations – Good, Bad or Just Different? View Panel Details
P170From Democratic Innovations to Democratic Institutions? The Challenges of Institutionalising New Forms of Citizens’ Participation View Panel Details
P175Frontiers of Democratic Innovations View Panel Details
P210Inequality and Direct Democracy View Panel Details
P267Mini-Publics Within Deliberative Democracy View Panel Details
P308Participatory and Deliberative Practices and Their Theoretical and Methodological Implications View Panel Details
P362Procedural Fairness, Voice and Democratic Legitimacy View Panel Details
P376Referendums: Beyond the Direct/Indirect Dichotomy View Panel Details
P460The Micropolitics of Deliberation and its Macropolitical Consequences in Deliberative Systems View Panel Details
P508Usage and Impact of E-Petitions View Panel Details
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