Expectations towards citizens in democratic innovations – good, bad or just different?

We warmly invite paper proposals for the panel ““Expectations towards citizens in democratic innovations – good, bad or just different?" for the section on “Democratic Innovations: Meeting Great Expectations?” at the ECPR General Conference, Hamburg, 22-25 August 2018. Please find the panel description below. The panel is co-chaired by Maija Setälä (University of Turku) and Marta Wojciechowska (LSE). Please send your paper proposal to the panel chairs by e-mail (maiset@utu.fim.wojciechowska@lse.ac.uk) by February 7. 


Panel description

This panel addresses the question:  What is and should be the scope of expectations towards citizens within democratic innovations? Mark Warren (2017) argues that we should abandon approaches based on ‘models’ of democracy which tend to provide very precise prescriptions of how citizens’ should behave. Instead, he argues, scholars should look out for three wider functions which any democratic arrangements shall perform: empowered inclusion, collective agenda and will formation, and collective decision-making. Existing real-life democratic innovations assign different, yet quite precise roles and their combinations to various groups of citizens, e.g. citizens as information providers, agenda-setters, deliberators, and decision-makers. Can these roles be accommodated by democratic functions described by Warren?  What kinds of problems might arise from democratic theoretical perspective when citizens are expected to act in particular roles? What kinds of interactions should and can be expected between citizens acting in specific roles? What are acceptable and non-acceptable ways of prescribing roles to citizens? Are there certain patterns of self-selection in how citizens adopt different roles – and if yes, do they give rise to concerns? The panel welcomes both theoretical and theoretically motivated empirical papers addressing these types of questions.