New Developments in Democratic Innovation Research

8th ECPR General Conference University of Glasgow, Glasgow 3 - 6 September 2014


Among the panels in the ‘New Developments in Democratic Innovation Research’ section of the ECPR General Conference in Glasgow, 3-6 September 2014, two are organized by Graham Smith (Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), University of Westminster) :

  • Agonism and democratic innovation

  • Democratic institutions and long-term decision-making: the design challenge

The closing dates for panel/paper submission will soon be upon us, so please let Graham Smith know by 7 Feb if you would be interested in presenting a paper on one or both of the following topics (abstracts below):

Agonism and Democratic Innovation

Organisers: Gemma Jamieson and Graham Smith, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster Much of the discourse (both academic and practitioner) on democratic innovations has been dominated by the conceptual/analytic tools and prescriptions of deliberative democracy. This has had a profound effect on case selection, the type of evidence proffered and the prescriptions that have emerged for improving the design of democratic institutions. This panel aims to broaden the analysis of democratic innovations through critical engagement with agonistic political theory (c.f. Conolly, Critchley, Honig, Kalyvas, Mouffe and Tully, for example). Theoretical and/or empirical contributions are particularly welcome that provide insights into how an engagement with agonism might reshape existing conceptual and analytical strategies (both in terms of discursive similarities and differences to deliberative theory) and/or generate different evaluations and prescriptions for the practice of democratic innovations.

Democratic institutions and long-term decision-making: the design challenge

Organisers: Michael MacKenzie, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard; Graham Smith, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster How well are democratic institutions designed to deal with long-term challenges that will likely have their most significant impacts on yet to exist generations? There is well-worn series of arguments that suggest that democratic institutions suffer from a range of myopias, privileging the short-term interests of existing citizens over future generations. On this basis, non-democratic solutions to challenges such as climate change are given particular credence. This panel will explore the way that innovations to democratic systems can enable longer-term considerations, focusing both on ways in which already-existing institutions are enabling such longer-term orientations and designs that might supplement or replace existing democratic architecture.

Submission Deadline: 7 Feb