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When Citizens Decide
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When Citizens Decide: Lessons from Citizen Assemblies on Electoral Reform

Patrick Fournier, Henk van der Kolk, R. Kenneth Carty, André Blais, and Jonathan Rose


Three unprecedented large-scale democratic experiments have recently taken place. Citizen assemblies on electoral reform were conducted in British Columbia, the Netherlands, and Ontario. Groups of randomly selected citizens were asked to design the next electoral system. In each case, the participants spent almost an entire year learning about electoral systems, consulting the public, deliberating, debating, and ultimately deciding what specific institution should be adopted. In this book, these unique cases are used to examine claims about citizens’ capacity for democratic deliberation and ac ... More

Keywords: democratic experiment, citizen, assembly, electoral system, deliberation, democracy, participation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199567843
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567843.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patrick Fournier, author
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Author Webpage

Henk van der Kolk, author
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Twente

R. Kenneth Carty, author
Professor, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Author Webpage