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Julia Gillard's citizens' assembly proposal for Australia: a deliberative democratic analysis

Julia Gillard's citizens' assembly proposal for Australia: a deliberative democratic analysis
Julia Gillard's citizens' assembly proposal for Australia: a deliberative democratic analysis
Many governments have embraced the rhetoric of inclusive citizen engagement. Greater public involvement promises to strengthen democratic institutions and improve the quality of policy decisions and services. How do these aspirations sit alongside the reality of Australian federal politics? This article investigates the responses of elite policy actors to the Gillard government's proposal to conduct a citizens’ assembly on climate change in 2010. Drawing on over 200 media articles, the authors identify a series of procedural, institutional and political objections raised by elite commentators against the citizens’ assembly proposal. Many of these objections have little basis in the experience of deliberative designs in practice. Some, however, reflect the challenge of realising inclusive, deliberative governance in highly politicised contexts.
Australia, citizen engagement, citizens' assemblies, deliberative democracy, deliberative designs, public participation
1036-1146
164-178
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c
Niemeyer, Simon
ed667807-2fa5-494b-be8d-73a0f7fbc28f
Hendriks, Carolyn M.
32fd452a-74d4-4600-8b72-db46637c249f
Boswell, John
34bad0df-3d4d-40ce-948f-65871e3d783c
Niemeyer, Simon
ed667807-2fa5-494b-be8d-73a0f7fbc28f
Hendriks, Carolyn M.
32fd452a-74d4-4600-8b72-db46637c249f

Boswell, John, Niemeyer, Simon and Hendriks, Carolyn M. (2013) Julia Gillard's citizens' assembly proposal for Australia: a deliberative democratic analysis. Australian Journal of Political Science, 48 (2), 164-178. (doi:10.1080/10361146.2013.786675).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Many governments have embraced the rhetoric of inclusive citizen engagement. Greater public involvement promises to strengthen democratic institutions and improve the quality of policy decisions and services. How do these aspirations sit alongside the reality of Australian federal politics? This article investigates the responses of elite policy actors to the Gillard government's proposal to conduct a citizens’ assembly on climate change in 2010. Drawing on over 200 media articles, the authors identify a series of procedural, institutional and political objections raised by elite commentators against the citizens’ assembly proposal. Many of these objections have little basis in the experience of deliberative designs in practice. Some, however, reflect the challenge of realising inclusive, deliberative governance in highly politicised contexts.

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Published date: 25 June 2013
Keywords: Australia, citizen engagement, citizens' assemblies, deliberative democracy, deliberative designs, public participation
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 357417
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/357417
ISSN: 1036-1146
PURE UUID: 5f9ecdcc-0314-4ec5-a6a0-b3ec032667f4
ORCID for John Boswell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3018-8791

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Oct 2013 13:57
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:08

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Contributors

Author: John Boswell ORCID iD
Author: Simon Niemeyer
Author: Carolyn M. Hendriks

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