Presentation on theme: "Deliberative methods: engaging citizens in collective decision- making ANDREW THOMPSON UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH."— Presentation transcript:
Deliberative methods: engaging citizens in collective decision- making ANDREW THOMPSON UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Conflicts of interest Who has paid you to give talks? ◦My university pays my salary and my travel/subsistence costs Who has paid you for advice? ◦No one Who has funded your research? ◦My university through my salary Who has paid for you to attend conferences? ◦My university Any other interest that could be connected with your work? ◦None, apart from academic
Context Government to governance legitimacy and authority complexity stakeholder involvement better decision-making? Current practice in learning from citizens surveys of opinions and evaluations of services patient /carer stories / emotional touch points focus groups membership of committees / fora largely reactive and individualised
Definitions Mini-publics (Dahl, 1989): assemblies of citizens, demographically representative of the larger population, brought together to learn and deliberate on a topic to inform public opinion and decision-making Deliberation involves talk to resolve political conflict and problem-solving, through arguing, demonstrating, expressing and persuading, rather than suppression, oppression, or thoughtless neglect. (Mansbridge et al, 2012) Two principles (Parkinson, 2004): 1. Reasoning between people, rather than bargaining between competing interests 2. A public act, rather than a private act (such as voting)
Purpose in decision-making From: consumers shopping in the market of ideas through pre-formed individual preferences often uninformed or unconsidered reactions To: citizens negotiating the meaning of the public good through democratic and rational processes more reflective engagement through learning, talking and listening
Stages of mini-publics 1.Planning and recruitment stewarding committee (neutral and opposing views) random and/or purposive selection 2.Learning information sources and materials witnesses/experts/activists/officials/politicians 3.Deliberation small groups, face-to-face 4.Decision-making reasoned recommendations or decisions 5.Follow-up dissemination of outputs and outcomes
Characteristics of participants Participants in mini-publics are (typically): randomly selected to give everyone affected an equal chance of selection stratified to reflect a diverse range of socio-demography and any other pertinent characteristics remunerated exposed to differing viewpoints enabled to cross-examine experts (partisan and non-partisan) supported in all stages of the process by non-partisan facilitators
Forms of deliberation Mini publicsCitizen juriesPlanning cellsConsensus conferences Deliberative polls Citizen assemblies No. of citizens No. of meetings 2-5 days4-5 days7-8 days2-3 days20-30 days SamplingRandom + self-selection Random + self-selection ResultCollective position report Survey opinions + collective position report Collective position report Survey opinionsDetailed policy recommend- ations DestinationSponsor + mass media Sponsor + mass media Parliament + mass media Sponsor + mass media Government + public referendum Source: adapted from Elstub and McLaverty (2014).
Advantages Allows citizens the time and resources to learn and to deliberate to reach an informed decision Learn how citizens produce informed decisions and what affects their preferences Engages and empowers citizens to take an active part in decisions that affect them and their communities Places citizens in realistic dynamic and collective contexts, rather than artificial individual isolation
Challenges Reflecting the population of interest equity; diversity; involving the uninvolved Inclusion of the activists Prevention of agency capture by vested interests Mitigating information bias (materials, media, experts) Outputs are usually recommendations, not decisions accountability to participants for outcome Scaling-up / developing infrastructure
Impact Public policy involvement of ‘ordinary’ citizens (the ‘wise fool’ rather than the engaged activist) rational process, rather than vested interests testing arguments at the micro level before being made at the macro level opportunities for learning new ways of working for all stakeholders Participants increased self-efficacy and empowerment in making complex decisions Citizens more generally seen by other citizens to offer proxies for the ‘general public’ (themselves) Governance can be combined with other forms of involvement/participation, including representation increased legitimacy of decisions
Summary Suited to complex and contentious problems Generally seen as acceptable methods by citizens A degree of independence from vested interests Increased reliability and validity of opinions and decisions Time consuming Expensive Experts and sponsors can manipulate participants Usually one-off events, rather than continuous review
References Dahl R (1989). Democracy and its critics. New Haven, Yale University Press. Elstub S and McLaverty P (eds) (2014). Deliberative democracy: issues and cases. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Fishkin J (2009). When the people speak: deliberative democracy and public consultation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mansbridge J, Bohman J, Chambers S, Christiano T, Fung A, Parkinson J, Thompson DF and Warren ME (2012). A systemic approach to deliberative democracy. In: Parkinson J and Mansbridge J (eds), Deliberative Systems: deliberative democracy at the large scale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Parkinson J (2004). Why deliberate? The encounter between deliberation and the new public managers. Public Administration, 82 (2),
Potential contributions to health care Abelson J, Forest P-G, Eyles J, Smith P, Martin E and Gauvin F-P (2003). Deliberations about deliberative methods: issues in the design and evaluation of public participation processes. Social Science & Medicine, 57, 239–251. Gregory J, Hartz-Karp J and Watson R (2008). Using deliberative techniques to engage the community in policy development. Australia & New Zealand Health Policy, 5: 16. Carman KL, Heeringa JW, Heil SKR, Garfinkel S, Windham A, Gilmore D, Ginsburg M, Sofaer S, Gold M and Pathak-Sen E (2013). Public deliberation to elicit input on health topics: findings from a literature review. Executive summary. Publication No. EHC EF-1. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Questions? If you wish to continue the conversation, contact me at: