The Micro-Macro Link in Deliberative Polling: Deliberative Experiments and Democratic Legitimacy

This paper critically examines the question of how to link the 'micro' of deliberatice mini-publics with the 'macro' of the larger democratic system. The transnational deliberative experiment EuroPolis from 2009 is used as a test case.

ARENA Working Paper 5/2013 (pdf)

Espen D.H. Olsen and Hans-Jörg Trenz

In this paper, we critically examine question of how to link the ‘micro’ of deliberative mini-publics with the ‘macro’ of the larger democratic system. As a test case, we relate to EuroPolis, a transnational deliberative experiment that took place one week ahead of the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. We argue that while deliberative polls through careful scientific design and organization may enhance equal participation and informed opinion-making of selected citizens (the micro dimension), their representative status as part of a broader constituency and as a generator of democratic legitimacy (the macro dimension) is less clear-cut. This problem is potentially exacerbated in deliberative settings that cut across domestic political cultures and nationalized public spheres.

This paper was published in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (online February 2015): DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2014.983363

Published July 4, 2013 10:24 AM - Last modified Apr. 25, 2016 10:40 AM