Deep Divisions & Democratic Innovation: Evidence from Northern Ireland – with Dr. Jamie Pow
Join us for a guest talk democracy, democratic innovations, and citizen initiatives in Northern Ireland. Our guest speaker is Dr. Pow, a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. His research focuses on the way citizens interact with democratic decision-making, including through elections, mini-publics and referendums.
Democratic innovations, such as deliberative mini-publics, have become increasingly prevalent around the world. They can be understood as efforts to try to improve the legitimacy of democratic decision-making by involving ordinary citizens more directly in the process. But can such initiatives work in societies where citizens are deeply divided? This talk will reflect on the experience of deliberative mini-publics in Northern Ireland, drawing lessons from case studies and survey data. It will highlight the potential for democratic innovations to play a constructive role in political decision-making, even in polarised societies, while noting important caveats.