2015 newDemocracy Research Funding

Decisiveness; student governance in Bolivia; Segolene Royal’s notion of having 24 people oversight their MP’s behaviour; mini-publics in practice.

The link between these diverse topics is that they are each the subject of ground-breaking research following the announcement of 2015 Research Grants from the New Democracy Foundation.

The Foundation’s Research Committee has awarded funding to four innovative projects following a highly competitive process. The Foundation’s Academic Advisory Committee chaired by Carolyn Hendriks from the Australian National University found agreement to prioritise these projects as they best met the key criteria of making a contribution to the field of deliberative democracy and having the capacity to impact a reform agenda to promote more trusted public decisions.

Canberra based Dr Wendy Russell will consider how impact, decisiveness and influence interact in deliberative processes. Studying the Foundation’s past projects, her work will offer an insight into how these factors impact on a reform agenda.

Oliver Dowlen from the University of London will conduct a feasibility study and trial of Segolene Royal’s novel proposal to give 24 randomly selected people in an electorate oversight of their MP’s activities and actions.

Simon Pek, Jeffrey Kennedy and Adam Cronkright will study the replacement of elected student governments in two Bolivian schools with those that are randomly selected. Their research will investigate how participants experience democratic innovations.

Dr Chris Riedy and Dr Jennifer Kent from UTS’s Institute for Sustainable Futures will explore the ways discrete deliberative events link to other governance systems and offer practical measures for organisers and facilitators to enhance the impact of their events. They will explore a number of the Foundation’s projects in conducting their work.

Projects are expected to proceed to publication throughout 2016.


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