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Look Inside Designing Deliberative Democracy

Designing Deliberative Democracy
The British Columbia Citizens' Assembly

$137.00 (C)

Part of Theories of Institutional Design

Mark E. Warren, Hilary Pearse, Dennis F. Thompson, Amy Lang, Michael Rabinder James, Andre Blais, R. Kenneth Carty, Patrick Fournier, R. S. Ratner, Fred Cutler, Richard Johnston, John Ferejohn
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  • Date Published: March 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521885072

$ 137.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Is it possible to advance democracy by empowering ordinary citizens to make key decisions about the design of political institutions and policies? In 2004, the government of British Columbia embarked on a bold democratic experiment: it created an assembly of 160 near-randomly selected citizens to assess and redesign the province’s electoral system. The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly represents the first time a citizen body has had the power to reform fundamental political institutions. It was an innovative gamble that has been replicated elsewhere in Canada and in the Netherlands, and is gaining increasing attention in Europe as a democratic alternative for constitution-making and constitutional reform. In the USA, advocates view citizens’ assemblies as a means for reforming referendum processes. This book investigates the citizens’ assembly in British Columbia to test and refine key propositions of democratic theory and practice.

    • Brings together leading scholars to reflect on the merits of the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly as the first large-scale application of the ideas of deliberative democracy
    • Chapters combine democratic theory with data drawn from original interviews, surveys, ethnographic research and media coverage
    • Provides recommendations of improvement for future use of the Assembly model
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly is a pivotal event in the history of deliberative democracy. The distinguished contributors to this book do the Assembly full justice with close analysis, insightful commentary and critical scrutiny, drawing lessons applicable to democratic reformers everywhere."
    John S. Dryzek, Australian National University

    "British Columbia’s Citizens Assembly was a unique and important experiment in citizen political participation and democratic reform. Designing Deliberative Democracy provides a very rich account of the process from the perspective of the participants, the general public and democratic theory. This book presents convincing evidence of the quality of the CA’s deliberations and draws out the important implications for our theories of deliberative democracy."
    Russell J. Dalton, University of California, Irvine

    "The collected essays in Designing Deliberative Democracy provide the definitive analysis of the British Columbia Citizen's Assembly, an important innovation in the design of democratic institutions."
    J. H. Snider Journal of Public Deliberation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521885072
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 153 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 20 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: democratic renewal and deliberative democracy Mark E. Warren and Hilary Pearse
    1. Who should govern who governs? The role of citizens in reforming the electoral system Dennis F. Thompson
    2. Citizen representatives Mark E. Warren
    3. Institutional design and citizen deliberation Hilary Pearse
    4. Agenda setting in deliberative forums: expert influence and citizen autonomy in the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly Amy Lang
    5. Descriptive representation in the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly Michael Rabinder James
    6. Do citizens' assemblies make reasoned choices? André Blais, R. Kenneth Carty and Patrick Fournier
    7. Communicative rationality in the Citizens' Assembly and referendum process R. S. Ratner
    8. Deliberation, information and trust: the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly as agenda setter Fred Cutler, Richard Johnston, R. Kenneth Carty, André Blais and Patrick Fournier
    Conclusion: the citizens' assembly model John Ferejohn.

  • Editors

    Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Mark E. Warren holds the Harold and Dorrie Merilees Chair for the Study of Democracy and is Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia.

    Hilary Pearse, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Hilary Pearse is a Ph.D. candidate and Commonwealth Scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.


    Mark E. Warren, Hilary Pearse, Dennis F. Thompson, Amy Lang, Michael Rabinder James, Andre Blais, R. Kenneth Carty, Patrick Fournier, R. S. Ratner, Fred Cutler, Richard Johnston, John Ferejohn

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