Blog Archive

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Spotlighting the Backstage Governance of Citizens Assemblies

Most attention on citizens assemblies understandably focuses on what happens on stage. What do the participants discuss and how deliberative are their interactions? But what happens on stage is in large part shaped by what is happening behind the scenes – for example, who decides what the agenda for discussion is, and how? In a new report from the Global Citizens’ Assemblies Network (GloCAN), we examine these backstage governance practices in cases from across the world and ask what they tell us about how to organise a global assembly.

PhD Position on the i4i Project

We are currently hiring in the Democratic Innovations Research Unit for a Doctoral Researcher to come and work with us on the DFG-funded i4i project. If you are interested in working with me and Brigitte Geissel to investigate how the integration of citizen climate assemblies into the political system affects their impacts, then you can find the full job advert below.

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What is the Nature of a Political Process Preference? The 3Cs Framework as a New Multidimensional Conceptualization

Introducing the 3Cs Framework, which tries to map out three dimensions necessary to understand the nature of a political process preference: coherence, contextuality, conditionality. This is a development of my previous 2022 ECPR Conference paper. You can download the new version from this blog post.

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Are elections a means to avoid difficult collective decisions about how we want to be governed? Some rough thoughts inspired by Michael Sandel.

I am scribbling down these thoughts following a lecture at Goethe University by Michael Sandel on Democracies’ Discontents. There were two important but disconnected points in the lecture, which inspired a chain of thoughts for me on the nature of elections as an avoidance mechanism.

Four Reasons Not to Use ChatGPT in University Teaching

These are some reflections stimulated by a course I recently attended on AI in university teaching, where many of my colleagues spoke about getting students to work with the outputs of AI, like ChatGPT. There is an opportunity cost with these activities – time spent working with AI output is time that could have been spent analysing academic sources – so we need to think about whether it is a valuable use of teaching time. I am initially sceptical. These are my reasons.

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Comparative Democracy Podcasts

To celebrate the new English-language MA in Comparative Democracy at Goethe University Frankfurt, Hanna Pfeifer, Julian Garritzmann and I took over the Talk Social Science To Me Podcast and produced three episodes on key themes in the field. All episodes are now available on your favourite podcast provider or click on the links below.