FESTIVAL | The Case for Deliberative Democracy

Speakers: Henrik Bang (Canberra/Copenhagen), Nicole Curato (Canberra), Selen Ercan (Canberra)FoD-blockNEWorange

Three speakers from SDN’s partners at the University of Canberra challenge some misconceptions of deliberative democracy. They put the case for an understanding of political life as composed of a speaking and acting subject who possesses the capacity to continuously problematise, politicise, chage, innovate, control, direct and regulate every aspect involved in the making of collective decisions and actions.

Event recording:


Professor Henrik Bang is Professor in Governance at the ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra (UC). He has come to UC from the University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science. Henrik writes extensively within the fields of governance and political participation, and has contributed significantly to the international debate with his concepts of Everyday Makers, Expert Citizens, culture governance and policy-politics. He has quite a lot of experience with applying his thinking to public debates due to his many years as director of COS (Centre for Organization and Management) in the Copenhagen Business School, and as co-director of MODINET (Centre of Media and Democracy in the Network Society) at the University of Copenhagen, Amager in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication. Among his first publications within the UC context will be a book about Foucault’s Political Challenge (forthcoming on Palgrave), and a series of papers about the Occupy Wallstreet Movement (with Mike Jensen).

Dr Nicole Curato is currently working with Dr Simon Niemeyer and Prof John Dryzek on a Discovery Project which examines how impacts of small group deliberation can be scaled up to mass publics. She first joined The Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the ANZSOG Institute for Governance (ANZSIG) (UC) in 2010 as a post-doctoral research fellow on an ARC linkage project about Australia’s First Citizens’ Parliament. Aside from the theory and practice of deliberative democracy, Nicole’s research interests include the role of deliberation in democratisation, fringe forms of political participation and qualitative research methods. She completed her PhD from the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham and MA Sociology from the University of Manchester. Her doctoral dissertation analysed the impact of marginalised groups using coercive mechanisms as a strategy for deliberative inclusion. She argued that while coercive tactics can be constructive in opening deliberative spaces, they also risk limiting the possibilities for deliberative processes and outcomes.

Dr Selen Ercan’s research interests span democratic theory; deliberative democracy; agonistic pluralism; identity politics; multiculturalism; feminism; social movements and alternative forms of political participation. Selen completed her PhD at the Australian National University, School of Politics and International Relations (with Prof John Dryzek), and MA at the University of Heidelberg in Political Science (with Prof Wolfgang Merkel). To date, Selen has been involved in various research projects both in Europe and Australia investigating the theory and practice of deliberative democracy in a variety of settings ranging from small-group discussions to the multilevel governance of the European Union. Her PhD thesis examined the capacity of the deliberative democratic approach in addressing conflicts of culture in particularly challenging contexts that are characterised by the presence of irreconcilable value conflicts in contemporary multicultural societies.