Pedagogy and deliberative democracy: insights from recent experiments in the United Kingdom

Brenton Prosser, Matthew Flinders, Will Jennings, Alan Renwick, Paolo Spada, Gerry Stoker, Katie Ghose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A growing body of research suggests the existence of a disconnection between citizens, politicians and representative politics in advanced industrial democracies. This has led to a literature on the emergence of post-democratic or post-representative politics that connects to a parallel seam of scholarship on the capacity of deliberative democratic innovations to ‘close the gap’. This latter body of work has delivered major insights in terms of democratic design in ways that traverse ‘politics as theory’ and ‘politics as practice’. And yet the main argument of this article is that this seam of scholarship has generally failed to explore the existence of numerous pedagogical relationships that exist within the very fibre of deliberative processes. As such, the core contribution of this article focuses around the explication of a ‘pedagogical pyramid’ that applies a micro-political lens to deliberative processes. This theoretical contribution is empirically assessed with reference to a recent project that sought to test different citizen assembly pilots around plans for English regional devolution. The proposition being tested is that a better understanding of relational pedagogy within innovations is vital, not just to increase levels of knowledge, but also to build the capacity, confidence and contribution of democratically active citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-232
Number of pages23
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018


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