The conference Scaling and Innovation – Contemporary Difficulties and Future Prospects for Participatory and Deliberative Democracy (#PDD2014) took place from the 9th to 11th July in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). It was organized by the Group of specialists on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy from the Political Studies Association (UK).
Each day started with a keynote, offered by Prof. Stephen Coleman, the World Bank expert Tiago Peixoto and the Member of Parliament Chi Onwurah. After each keynote there were several research panels with various presentations, some more “academic”, others with a more practical character.
On Friday I participated in a panel on the Measurement of deliberation in which I presented the “Participation Schemes”. Actually, I didn’t talk as much about the schemas, but about why this kind of tools are necessary, based on my experience of critical investigation of various experiences of citizen participation.
I criticized that it is not just politicians who struggle to transcend the usual rhetoric and platitudes about participation, as they frequently maintain a discourse about participation which has little to do with the reality they practice. Unfortunately, this hypocrisy is often supported by the very academics and social researchers, who perform shallow and non-critical analysis of participatory experiences… and thus become complicit in this trivialization of democratic participation and supporters of democratic “status quo” that is quite deplorable.
You can download the paper in Academia.edu. An extended version of the paper has been published in Spanish, co-authored with prof. Álvaro Ramírez-Alujas, at the Revista Reforma y Democracia of the Latin-American Center of Administration for Development (CLAD). According to this Journal’s free access policy, the full-text paper will be available for download in 2015.
Finally, the slides used for the presentation can be downloaded from SlideShare.