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Title: Organized citizen deliberations : an examination of representation, accountability and effectiveness in the context of minipublics
Author: Gul, V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 6292
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This research argues that minipublics are not spontaneous citizen deliberations. Rather they are organized by someone. It will be argued that organizers and organization are crucial aspects of minipublics, and the organized nature of minipublics has implications on how we understand minipublics and deliberative democracy. The thesis starts with the question of representation in minipublics. In the literature, this question is discussed by focusing on descriptive representation. However, after showing the problems with descriptive representation, in this research, representation as claim-making framework will be suggested to use. The application of it highlights the role of organizers as representative claim-makers. In addition, what organizers do has implications for minipublics as deliberative democratic practices. First, the level of representation in minipublics is a result of design choices made by organizers. Second, organizers decide how much decisional power a minipublic might have. Third, the quality of deliberation depends on how organizers organize minipublics. Changing our understanding of representation and revealing the role of organizers will lead us to accountability. In the literature, accountability is discussed mostly with regards to participants. However, accountability is a relation between different actors. In minipublics, while accountability is not a big issue for participants, it is important for organizers. Especially deliberative accountability is important to understand the accountability of organizers. Therefore, it will be argued that we need to go beyond participant focused examination of minipublics and look closer at what organizers do. In the end, it will be argued that although organization is an indispensable aspect of deliberative democratic practice, there is not much discussion of it. In fact, there is an incompatibility between the organized nature of minipublics and Habermasian understanding of citizen deliberation. This research suggests that we need to come to terms with organization and realise what it can do for deliberative democracy in practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available