Dealing with the Newcomer: How Politicians and Stakeholders Envision the Place of a Deliberative Mini-public in Political Decision-making

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Political decision-makers make increasingly use of deliberative citizen assemblies to associate ordinary citizens to political decision-making and gather the informed op inion of people from various societal backgrounds. However, they launch so called ‘mini-publics’ without defining in advance how compelling they want the consultative process to become and, more importantly, without knowing how much consideration their mini-public will receive from traditional actors in the decision-making process. Through the study of a typical mini-public case, the Citizen Climate Parliament (CCP) in the Belgian Province of Luxemburg, the present research studied by which features politic ians and stakeholders judge a mini -public; and what place in the decision-making process they want to concede to this ‘new-comer’. Survey data show that, while most politicians and stakeholders had a fairly positive impression of the CPP, opinions diverge on whether its recommendations should be binding. The thematic and typological discourse analyses of 28 semi-structured in-depth interviews suggests that this judgment comes with four different visions of mini-publics’ place in political decision-making: an elitist-, expert-, (re)connection-and reinvention view; and is based on at least six criteria: mini-publics’ capacity, representativeness, results, topic, process and use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017
Event6th Conference on the Belgian 'State of the Federation' - Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 21 Dec 2017 → …

Conference

Conference6th Conference on the Belgian 'State of the Federation'
CountryBelgium
CityBrussels
Period21/12/17 → …

Keywords

  • mini-publics
  • political elites
  • stakeholders
  • deliberative system
  • discourse analysis

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