Leiðbeinandi: Jón Ólafsson
Heiti doktorsverkefnis: Legitimacy puzzles: Delibertive Mini-Publics and Representative Democracy
The question this research project tries to answer is this: Can the use of randomly selected deliberative mini-publics to shape public policy be justified in terms of democratic legitimacy, and if so, in what form and to what extent?
The normative legitimacy of the using deliberative mini-publics to influence public policy and political decisions has recently come under sharp criticism. For example, Christina Lafont (2015) has argued that even if this were true of the group of participants before the actual deliberation, it is not the case after the deliberations. During a deliberative process like a Deliberative Poll or a Citizen’s Jury, of the participants become highly informed about the issues and deliberate under good conditions. Thus, the participants have become more like experts and are no longer representative of the public. Therefore, any use of mini-publics that weakens the feedback loop between elected representatives and the voter should be rejected.
The project has two main objectives: Firstly, is to advance a legitimate normative argument for the use of mini-publics to influence public policy. Having done this, the second objective is to sketch out what that might require in terms of institutional arrangements.