Recap on Deliberative Systems workshop at CSD, Nov 2014

Thanks very much to Graham Smith for organising and hosting last week’s workshop on Deliberative Systems at CSD in Westminster (though unfortunately Graham was laid low with a bug and could not be there himself!) There was a very good turnout and lots of interesting debate and discussion. What follows below is an attempt to briefly summarize the highlights. The essence of the workshop was to critically engage with the systemic turn in deliberative democracy. The speakers (and, for the most part, the audience) were all largely sympathetic to the systems idea but each focused on a particular problem or concern that this turn raises for deliberative democratic theory and research (see abstracts at Deliberative systems presentations).*

Perhaps the most sceptical account was William Smith’s—one that aligns in this sense with Graham Smith and David Owen’s account (see here) that unfortunately couldn’t be delivered. For (William) Smith, the…

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