Staggered deliberation

By Aurian de Briey, Pierre-Étienne Vandamme

Should we abandon the ideal of a large-scale, structured deliberation including all citizens? Not necessarily. Staggered deliberation, which is studied in this article, consists in setting up deliberations by groups of twenty people, with representatives from these groups presenting their provisional conclusions to those taking part in the next level of deliberation, such that the model takes the form of a pyramid. Given the exponential reduction of the number of participants between the levels of deliberation, it would take only six steps to arrive at the final deliberation. This article explores the theoretical plausibility of such a model and examines the main objections that it could face.

  • Deliberation
  • Participation
  • Inclusion
  • Representation
  • Democratic innovations
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