The Micro–Macro Link in Deliberative Polling

Espen D. H. Olsen and Hans-Jörg Trenz have published an article in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, discussing how deliberative experiments can claim to generate democratic legitimacy.


This article critically examines the question of how to link the ‘micro’ of deliberative mini-publics with the ‘macro’ of the democratic system. To explore this puzzle, we relate to EuroPolis, a transnational deliberative experiment that took place one week ahead of the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. The main argument is that although the scientific design of deliberative polls is a necessary condition for the fulfilment of the criteria for equal participation and informed opinion-making of selected citizens (the micro-dimension), this does not necessarily translate into a democratically representative and legitimate proxy for the broader political constituency (the macro-dimension). This problem is potentially exacerbated in deliberative settings that cut across domestic political cultures and nationalized public spheres.

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Espen D.H. Olsen and Hans-Jörg Trenz
The Micro–Macro Link in Deliberative Polling: Science or Politics?

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Volume 19, 2016 - Issue 6, Pages 662-679
DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2014.983363

Published Feb. 25, 2015 3:35 PM - Last modified Nov. 21, 2016 8:32 AM