Democracy Rebooted: Deliberative Responses to Planetary Challenges?

ECPR DI-SG / APSA DI-SG / Red Politólogas / PDD PSA

Democracy Rebooted: Deliberative Responses to Planetary Challenges?’ is a four-part webinar hosted by the ECPR Standing Group on Democratic Innovations, APSA Democratic Innovations Related Group, Red de Politólogas, and the PSA Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Group. 

Throughout October, these weekly webinars will feature a prominent scholar in conversation with early or mid-career researchers (Ph.D. students, post-docs, lecturers). These virtual seminars are designed to critically question the role of democratic innovations in responding to planetary challenges like growing autocratization; the current racial contract; the ecological crisis; and the exclusion of nonhuman animals from decision-making spaces. 

Participants are encouraged to take part in the conversation as well.  


Participatory/deliberative Authoritarianism? (Red Politólogas) – October 5th – 3pm CET

Description: The ideas and institutions established to increase citizens’ deliberation and participation in public matters have usually been associated with democratic settings. However, not only do authoritarian regimes also develop strategies of legitimation through citizen engagement, but they are also increasingly disputing the meaning of ‘real democracy’. This webinar will focus on the development of participatory and deliberative institutions in authoritarian countries to explore approaches and outcomes.

  • Chair: Yanina Welp (Red de Politólogas)
  • Speakers:
    • María Isabel Puerta Riera: Adjunct professor at Valencia College and an associate researcher at GAPAC. Her research focuses on democratic backsliding and authoritarianism in Latin America, in particular, Venezuela’s transition to participatory democracy and its current institutional crisis. 
    • Su Yun Woo: Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich and an advisor at the Social Equity and Participation Center in Chengdu. Her research focuses on the use of public deliberation in China and the emergence of democratic innovations in authoritarian settings.

Link to register: 

Decolonizing Deliberative Democracy (APSA-Participedia) – October 12th, 4pm CET

  • Chair: Edana Beauvais (APSA)
  • Speakers
    • Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj: Visiting Professor at Stanford University, Maya-K’iche’ academic, journalist, poet, and indigenous right activist. Her research has played a key role in the prosecution of sexual slavery and crimes against humanity in post-conflict Guatemala. 
    • Melisa Ross: Melisa Ross is a PhD candidate at Humboldt University. Her research focuses on postneoliberalism, participation and deliberation in Latin America.

Link to register: 

Planetary challenges, Western responses? Deliberating the climate transition with(out) affected communities (ECPR) – October 19th, 3pm

Description: Democratic innovations such as climate assemblies have been increasingly implemented to collectively design policy responses to the ecological crisis. Examples like the French Convention citoyenne pour le climat and COP’s Global Assembly have been used to argue that democratization can drive decarbonization. Yet, Western scholars and actors within the deliberative turn have largely overlooked the complexities of deliberative and participatory mechanisms in the territories most affected by both climate change and the green transition—and the failures and limits of long-established participatory mechanisms such as ILO169. Can Western-centered deliberative mechanisms address the need for decarbonization without further entrenching the current global racial order? How can dominant practices respond to the demands of autonomous forms of deliberation and resistance? 

  • Chair: Azucena Morán (ECPR)
  • Speakers
    • Ólufemi Ó. Taiwó: Philosophy professor at Georgetown University. His research focuses on reparations and the intersections of climate justice and colonialism, and draws liberally from the Black radical tradition, contemporary social science, histories of activism and activist thinkers, German transcendental philosophy and contemporary philosophy of language.
    • Ariadne Collins: Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. Her work focuses on processes of racialization and histories of colonialism, and their challenge to the successful enactment of forest governance policies in the Global South.

Link to register: 

Non-Human De/Liberation – PSA – October 27th, 11am CET

Description: This session will inquire how non-human animals can participate in democracy. As humans increasingly share living space with nonhuman animals often displacing them from their lands, finding new ways of establishing inter-species dialogue becomes ever more pressing. How do animals communicate? Which democratic animal practices can humans learn from? And how can humans enter into deliberation with animals?

  • Chair: Hans Asenbaum (PSA)
  • Speakers
    • Eva Meijer: Artist, writer, philosopher and singer-songwriter. Her work focuses on interspecies democracy and nonhuman animal languages, and has been translated into over 20 languages. 
    • Lucy Parry: Senior Research Associate at the University of Canberra. Her research focuses on deliberative democracy, democratic innovations, and animal ethics. 

Link to register: 

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