Democratic Transformations: Spaces, Connections, and Systemic Change


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04/06/2020 - 05/06/2020
All Day


DCU School of Communications, Ireland


Call for abstracts

Please send a paper abstract of around 150 words with a title, authors’ names, affiliation, and contact information or a panel proposal containing three to four paper abstracts by 24th of January 2020 to See the information and call document for more details.

The application of early career researchers including PhD students is encouraged. Conference attendance is free of charge. Participants and their institutions need to cover expenses for travel and accommodation.

The Conference

Current times are characterised by the proliferation of a variety of participatory spaces, emerging in response to the shortcomings and challenges that modern democracies are facing. These sites of engagement vary widely, including citizens’ assemblies, occupied public squares, workplace democracy, participation in schools, and flash mobs. Further variety to these spaces is added by new modes of digital deliberation, e-rulemaking, and various forms of online engagement. Recent debates in the scholarship on deliberative and participatory democracy suggest that the most fruitful way to understand these spaces is not as insular phenomena but rather as connected in participatory ecologies or participatory systems. Different spaces might fulfil different democratic functions in a larger system. Digital connectivity often contributes to these newly emerging networks of various, hybrid forms of participation. This opens up opportunities for systemic change. Through their connections, participatory spaces are part of deep systemic transformations toward more participatory societies.

The Conference of the PSA Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group 2020 invites democracy researchers in all stages of their careers (including PhD students) to discuss their empirical and theoretical work. Topics may include but are not limited to

  • Digital engagement, e-rulemaking, and crowdsourcing
  • Mini publics, Citizens Assemblies
  • Global democracy
  • Participatory experiences from the Global South
  • Feminist, gender and queer approaches to democracy
  • Radical democratic, socialist or anarchist politics
  • Participatory constitution making
  • Workplace participation and worker cooperatives
  • Democratic innovations
  • Social movements’ democratic experiences and unconventional forms of participation
  • Ecological and green democracy
  • The economic context of participation
  • Inequalities and modes of exclusion/inclusion
  • Consumerism as form of participation
  • Public administration, representative institutions, and elite deliberation
  • Research methods for studying participatory and deliberative democracy


Full additional information including details of the conference topics, details of submissions of abstracts and panel suggestions, sponsors and organisers can be found in the accompanying information and call document.

You can also download the conference poster.