Parkinson and Mansbridge, eds.: Deliberative Systems: Deliberative Democracy at the Large Scale

Professor Dr. John Parkinson of the University of Warwick Faculty of Politics and International Studies, and Professor Dr. Jane J. Mansbridge of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, have co-edited Deliberative Systems: Deliberative Democracy at the Large Scale (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

‘Deliberative democracy’ is often dismissed as a set of small-scale, academic experiments. This volume seeks to demonstrate how the deliberative ideal can work as a theory of democracy on a larger scale. It provides a new way of thinking about democratic engagement across the spectrum of political action, from towns and villages to nation states, and from local networks to transnational, even global systems. Written by a team of the world’s leading deliberative theorists, Deliberative Systems explains the principles of this new approach, which seeks ways of ensuring that a division of deliberative labour in a system nonetheless meets both deliberative and democratic norms. Rather than simply elaborating the theory, the contributors examine the problems of implementation in a real world of competing norms, competing institutions and competing powerful interests. […]

Here is the table of contents:

  1. A systemic approach to deliberative democracy / Jane Mansbridge, James Bohman, Simone Chambers, Thomas Christiano, Archon Fung, John Parkinson, Dennis F. Thompson and Mark E. Warren
  2. Rational deliberation among experts and citizens / Thomas Christiano
  3. Deliberation and mass democracy / Simone Chambers
  4. Representation in the deliberative system / James Bohman
  5. Two trust-based uses of minipublics in democratic systems / Michael K. MacKenzie and Mark E. Warren
  6. On the embeddedness of deliberative systems: why elitist innovations matter more / Yannis Papadopoulos
  7. Democratizing deliberative systems / John Parkinson

The book includes discussion of democratic deliberation about legal matters, including citizens’ participation in jury deliberations, constitutional drafting, the legislative process, and ballot measures, including by such processes as the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review.

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