Best Paper Award

The Democratic Innovations ECPR Standing Group awards the prize for the Best Paper in the section “Democratic Innovations: Uses and Perceptions” at the ECPR General Conference 2021 to the following paper “Reinforcing the legitimacy of deliberative citizen forums: contingent views from outside the forum” co-authored by Saskia Goldberg and André Bächtiger.

Nominations of the panel chairs of the ECPR Democratic Innovation section led to shortlist of 10 papers. Next, the selection committee, consisting of the 2021 section convenors Sergiu Gherghina and Camille Bedock, selected this year’s winner.

The paper makes an important contribution to the literature by explaining the perceptions of non-participating citizens of deliberative citizen forums and those of citizens who are disaffected with democracy. The paper addresses an important gap in the literature and shows that most citizens want deliberative forums to be purely consultative and to work in collaboration with politicians. The most disaffected are inclined to give the forums a stronger role in terms of empowerment, which is very relevant to understand attitudes of disaffected citizens who are critical towards contemporary representative democracies. Although based on a conjoint experiment on a single case (Germany), the theoretical ambition and the scope of the results of this paper is much larger and provides a crucial contribution to a vibrant field of literature. 

This award rewards two authors, one PhD student and an experienced researcher, who demonstrate their ability to create a dialogue between normative theories and empirical political science: Such an enterprise is essential to advance knowledge in the field of democratic innovations.

We also like to take the opportunity to announce that Routledge has a new book series on democratic innovations. We, Camille Bedock and Sergiu Gherghina, are the series editors and we strongly encourage you to get in touch with us if you think about a monograph or an edited volume that could fit the series. The series editors are happy to discuss your thoughts, provide guidance and the book proposal form that is required. The editors are open to a broad range of contributions in the form of theoretical, methodological, empirical or practitioner-oriented works. The book series does not have a live webpage yet on the Routledge website because that will happen only when the first book is published.

Best wishes,
Camille Bedock and Sergiu Gherghina

2021 Conveners of ECPR Democratic Innovations Section

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