“Governing Citizens’ Assemblies” Conference
ISPS GOVERNING X SERIES - DEMOCRATIC INNOVATIONS
In recent years, citizens’ assemblies — large randomly selected bodies of citizens convened to deliberate about political issues — have become a popular way for governments to address governance and legitimacy issues. These bodies of ordinary people are entrusted with the goal of generating policy recommendations and, sometimes, even legislative proposals on issues such as electoral reform, abortion, same-sex marriage, climate justice, and assisted suicide. As citizens’ assemblies may come to occupy a larger role in democratic governance, important questions need to be addressed: Who holds power within and over citizens’ assemblies? And who should? Citizens’ assemblies have so far been governed from the outside by government officials, experts, and professional facilitators. How much of the power belongs and should belong to the citizen participants themselves?
This day-long conference will bring together academics, political leaders, and practitioners to explore these critical questions. The focus will be on the recent French Citizens Conventions, respectively on Climate and End of Life, which explicitly thematized the question of governance. Each had an appointed “governance committee” running the process as well as some effort to include citizens in the internal decision-making process.
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Who Governed the French Conventions?
Moderated by: Antonin Lacelle-Webster, Postdoctoral Associate with the Democratic Innovations Program at ISPS, Yale University
Citizens Voice and Minorities Representation in the French Citizens’ Conventions
Moderated by: Jane Suiter, Professor of Political Communication at Dublin City University
International Perspective on Citizens’ Assemblies and other Democratic Innovations Governance
Moderated by: Colin Scicluna, Head of Cabinet to the Vice President for Democracy & Demography, European Commission
Roundtable: Should Citizens’ Assemblies be More like Sovereign Parliaments, or Not?
Moderated by: Alexandra Cirone, Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University and Visiting fellow at the Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies