Reference : A gradualist path toward sortition
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A gradualist path toward sortition
Burks, Deven mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Kies, Raphaël mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Legislature by Lot: Transformative Designs for Deliberative Governance
Gastil, John mailto
Wright, Erik Olin mailto
The Real Utopias Project
United Kingdom
[en] political theory ; deliberative democracy ; sortition
[en] Conventional wisdom holds that building democracy takes time. Deliberative democracy will likely prove no exception. To that end, this chapter will explore one possible path towards more deliberative institutions and decision-making in the form of Gastil and Wright’s proposal for a Sortition Chamber. Our thesis is that deliberative innovations, notably a sortition chamber, require a gradualist approach to implementation. While other authors in this volume may take for granted that some form of sortition chamber will be institutionalized and focus instead on design questions, we probe the necessary conditions preceding institutionalization. To support this thesis, we shall make an argument comprising four main claims.
1.) Sortition is a promising deliberative innovation.
2.) A strong, unaccountable deliberative device like sortition may delegitimize citizen
deliberation and future deliberative innovations, in particular a sortition chamber.
3.) A weaker deliberative device like citizens’ consultation is effective though often blocked
by a lack of institutional footing.
4.) Citizens’ consultation, once proven to be effective and regular, opens one path towards
enhanced deliberative innovations like the sortition chamber.
Claim 1.) will not be developed here beyond the point that a sortition chamber’s “hybrid legitimacy” may allow it to overcome critiques addressed to one-shot, single-issue consultative or
empowered mini-publics which may lack institutional footing1. Such mini-publics face multiple challenges: significant social or political uptake, electoral accountability, capture by interests, political redundancy, representativeness, biases, frames2. If a sortition chamber prima facie meets or precludes these different critiques, it represents a striking contribution to democratic innovations beyond mini-publics.
That said, we must work out claims 2.), 3.) and 4.) in individual sections below. While examples in 3.) and 4.) will mainly be drawn from the European Union, we maintain that this argument is broadly applicable at local, regional national and transnational levels. We argue that, if institutionalizing consultative mini-publics is desirable and feasible at the EU level, it will be all the more so at other levels throughout the decision-making process’ different stages.
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