Improving Deliberative Participation: Connecting Mini-Publics to Deliberative Systems

Andrea Felicetti, Simon Niemeyer, Nicole CURATO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
399 Downloads (Pure)


This article argues for the assessment of deliberative mini-publics as a dynamic part of a wider deliberative system. The approach draws primarily on Dryzek’s (2009) deliberative capacity building framework, which describes the democratic process as ideally involving authentic deliberation, inclusiveness in the deliberative process, and consequentiality or deliberation’s influence on decisions as well as positive impact on the system. This approach is illustrated using the comparative assessment of two mini-public case studies: the Australian Citizens’ Parliament and Italy’s Iniziativa di Revisione Civica (Civic Revision Initiative). The application of deliberative capacity as a standard for evaluating mini-publics in systemic terms reveals differences between the cases. The deliberative capacity of both cases overlap, but they do so for different reasons that stem from the interconnections between their specific designs and other components of the deliberative system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-448
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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