Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Department of Government and Politics Research Seminar Series

Perceptions of deliberative quality in a ‘mixed’ mini-public: Ireland’s Convention on the Constitution (2012-14) Dr Clodagh Harris, Senior Lecturer

Recent decades have witnessed the development and expansion of a variety of participatory and deliberative innovations that place the citizen at the heart of legal and policy issues. This paper is concerned with one such innovation, Ireland’s Convention on the Constitution a mini-public that included a mix of randomly selected lay citizens and political representatives in a deliberative process of constitutional reform from December 2012 to March 2014. Responding to Bächtiger et al.’s request for evidence that mini-publics promote deliberation in practice (2014), it analyses perceptions of deliberative quality using the perception of deliberative quality index (PDQI), a tool derived from Steenbergen et al.’s (2003) index to measure the quality of deliberation (DQI). Hypothesising that levels of PDQI may be affected by participants’ reactions to: the nature (hot/cold) of the topic discussed, whether the participants agreed with the weekend’s final recommendations, and the number of meetings of the convention a participant attended, it finds that age and gender have a significant impact on levels of PDQI and that the duration of such processes may have a negative effect. Dr Clodagh Harris is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics. Her research interests include: deliberative and participatory democracy; democratic innovations and citizen engagement. She has made expert contributions to deliberative processes on political reform nationally and internationally and was a member of the Irish Constitutional Convention’s Academic and Legal Advisory Group (2012-2014).

Category: Public Lectures and Seminars: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: ORB_202
Target Audience: All welcome
Admission Price: € Free
Contact: Stefanie Wojtek
021 490 2770

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