Harvard Legal Theory Forum Working Paper Series
... affect the outcomes and beliefs of people within communicative systems and treat these factors
as the proper focus of the analysis of the legitimacy of communication.5 Habermas’s “ideal
speech situation” is an attempt to ensure equal access to participatory democracy without
distortion by wealth or ...
The Coming of Age of Deliberative Democracy
... beyond the limits of liberalism and to recapture the stronger democratic ideal
that government should embody the ``will of the people'' formed through the
public reasoning of citizens.3 Deliberative democracy, broadly de®ned, is thus
any one of a family of views according to which the public deliber ...
... called the Political Views Study. Data was not available in time for this version of
this paper. The Political Views Study also includes several other scales and
questions, including questions asking respondents whether they wish to be
contacted regarding a deliberative web site and whether they wis ...
A citizens' assembly is a body formed from the citizens of a modern state to deliberate on an issue or issues of national importance. Typically, the membership of a citizens' assembly is randomly selected, as in other forms of sortition. The purpose is to employ a cross-section of the public to study the options available to the state on certain questions and to propose answers to these questions. In many cases, the state will require these proposals to be accepted by the general public through a referendum before becoming law.The use of citizens' assemblies to reach decisions in this way is related to the traditions of deliberative democracy and popular sovereignty in political theory. Citizens' assemblies have been used in Canada and the Netherlands to deliberate on reform of the system used to elect politicians in those countries. In Iceland, citizens' assemblies have been used to inform broader constitutional reform. Similar initiatives have been proposed in the UK and Ireland.Ordinarily, citizens' assemblies are state initiatives. However, there are also examples of independent citizens' assemblies, such as the on-going Le G1000 in Belgium or the 2011 We the Citizens initiative in Ireland.