Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

By SalM on September 9, 2020 in News Articles

Bibliographic References

Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance. Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar. Edward Elgar Publishing. Dec 2019.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781786433862

Summary of Content

Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. These new processes of public participation are reimagining the relationship between citizens and institutions. This Handbook advances understanding of democratic innovations, in theory and practice, by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world.

The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality. The Handbook therefore offers a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice



  • 1. Defining and typologising democratic innovations | Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar (FREE ACCESS)
  • 2. Democratic innovations and theories of democracy | Ian O’Flynn
  • 3. Mini-publics: design choices and legitimacy | Clodagh Harris
  • 4. Collaborative governance: between invited and invented spaces | Sonia Bussu
  • 5. The long journey of participatory budgeting | Ernesto Ganuza and Gianpaolo Baiocchi
  • 6. Referendums and citizens’ initiatives | Maija Jäske and Maija Setälä
  • 7. Digital participation | Hollie Russon Gilman and Tiago Carneiro Peixoto


  • 8. Does political trust matter? | Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans
  • 9. Accountability and democratic innovations | Albert Weale
  • 10. Anti-politics and democratic innovation | Matthew Flinders, Matthew Wood and Jack Corbett
  • 11. The impact of democratic innovations on citizens’ efficacy | Paolo Spada


  • 12. Facilitators: the micropolitics of public participation and deliberation | Oliver Escobar
  • 13. Consultants: the emerging participation industry | Laurence Bherer and Caroline W. Lee
  • 14. Public servants in innovative democratic governance | Wieke Blijleven, Merlijn van Hulst and Frank Hendriks
  • 15. Experts: the politics of evidence and expertise in democratic innovation | Ruth Lightbody and Jennifer J. Roberts
  • 16. Advocates: interest groups, civil society organisations and democratic innovation | Carolyn M. Hendriks
  • 17. The role of elected representatives in democratic innovations | Nivek Thompson
  • 18. Journalists: the role of the media in democratic innovation | Gianfranco Pomatto


  • 19. Democratic innovations and the policy process | Adrian Bua
  • 20. Democratic innovation in science and technology | Sarah R. Davies
  • 21. Democratic innovation in social policy | Rikki Dean
  • 22. Democratic innovation and environmental governance | Jens Newig, Edward Challies and Nicolas W. Jager
  • 23. Democratic innovation in constitutional reform | Ron Levy
  • 24. Democratic innovation in transnational and global governance | Mikko Rask, Bjørn Bedsted, Edward Andersson and Liisa Kallio


  • 25. Democratic innovations in North America | Christopher F. Karpowitz and Chad Raphael
  • 26. Democratic innovations in Latin America | Thamy Pogrebinschi and Melisa Ross
  • 27. Democratic innovations in Europe | Brigitte Geissel
  • 28. Trends in democratic innovation in Asia | Naoyuki Mikami
  • 29. Democratic innovation in Australasia | Lucy Parry, Jane Alver and Nivek Thompson
  • 30. Local democratic innovations in Africa | Isabel Ferreira and Giovanni Allegretti


  • 31. Quantitative methods in democratic innovation research | Simon Beste and Dominik Wyss
  • 32. Qualitative approaches to democratic innovations | Julien Talpin
  • 33. Mixed methods research in democratic innovation | Oliver Escobar and Andrew Thompson
  • 34. Using experiments to study democratic innovations | Kimmo Grönlund and Kaisa Herne
  • 35. From discourse quality index to deliberative transformative moments | Maria Clara Jaramillo and Jürg Steiner
  • 36. Analysing deliberative transformation: a multi-level approach incorporating Q methodology | Simon Niemeyer
  • 37. Comparative approaches to the study of democratic innovation | Matt Ryan


  • 38. Reflections on the theory and practice of democratic innovations | Graham Smith

Follow the link to the handbook and take a read of it:


Link to the original article taken from the RRI Tools Website


Engagement Goes Virtual

By SalM on September 9, 2020 in News Articles

The magnitude of the Corona crisis took us all by surprise. Shops were closed down, wherever possible people had to work from home and events got cancelled or postponed. The scientific community was afflicted as well. One event affected, like many others, by the measures taken against the spread of the Coronavirus, was a Dialogue Event, that set out to take place at the Institute for Advanced Studies in May. As part of the EU project RiConfigure, the workshop aimed to foster collaboration among the public sector, industry, academia and civil society to address the challenges of our time. Faced with restrictions by the Austrian government and a partial lockdown announced in March, the organizational team had to decide: What to do?

Different options were on the table. Cancelling the event altogether was quickly discarded and the team decided to move the dialogue event from the physical to the virtual space. The workshop was reframed as weeklong virtual participatory event and postponed to the beginning of July to give enough time for planning. The main question was how to get people not only to show up (virtually), but to actively engage and interact with one another online. The following five steps were of particular relevance in achieving that goal.

How can an event be made accessible for as many people as possible?

  1. Use different tools – but keep it simple!
    One advantage of hosting a virtual event is a vast range of different tools and software that each have their specific purpose and field of application. Finding the right mix and creating the technical architecture of the event takes time and should be well thought out. For the Virtual Dialogue Days, the architecture looked like this: A slack platform was the central meeting place for all participants. Several thematic channels – and one for having a virtual coffee break –structured the space and gave it shape. Each day there was one live session held via Zoom, Mentimeter was used to make those sessions participatory. Furthermore, an Online Whiteboard, created with Miro, was used during the whole event to collect ideas and input of the participants. While all those tools and apps created a unique online environment that enabled and fostered participation, it was also important to not overwhelm attendees. Finding the fine line between creating an interesting and engaging experience while at the same time keeping it simple enough for both participants and the organizational team is key.
  2. Create an inclusive environment
    RiConfigure’s core idea is to bring together actors from the business/industry sector, the public sector, academia and civil society to imagine and deliver innovation for people and problems. Along with that goal comes the issue of inclusiveness. How can an event be made accessible for as many people as possible? For the Virtual Dialogue Days that question had several consequences. First, the event – originally planned as a one-day affair – was stretched to five days with a limited number of live events supplemented by resources that could be accessed 24/7. Furthermore, the workshop had participants mostly from Europe but also from South America. To accommodate that fact, timetables for live events were scheduled in a way that made it possible for both to participate during the day.
  3. Preparation and testing are key
    Murphy’s law is especially true if technology is involved. It is therefore essential to plan ahead of the event and train all the people involved. Everyone needs to know when to be where at what time. Especially important: Do a test run of the event with the whole organizational team involved. Online events need as much organizational staff as regular events – if not more so. That’s why it’s important that everyone’s roles are clearly defined and communicated before the event starts. Also, technical problems might be considered at all times. Both participants and organizers can face some sort of restraint in their possibility to access platforms or speak during the live sessions. The challenge was to establish structures that support all kinds of challenges and fast reaction if there was a problem.
  4. Work towards a goal
    Defining a goal that all participants work towards can help enhance engagement. Introduce that goal right at the start of the workshop and make sure to include participants along the way. At the Virtual Dialogue Days one of the pre-defined goals was co-creating a policy brief by picking up ideas and lessens at each day of the event. Besides being mentioned in the policy brief, participants had the opportunity to engage even more by contributing as a co-author.
  5. Go with the flow
    No matter how well planned your event might be, there is limited control over how participants might act and interact with your virtual structure. People might use tools in different ways than originally intended, therefore it is important to go with the flow, see how the event unfolds and adapt accordingly. If you push too much in one direction or ignore the challenges that arise, it might lead to participants just logging off the event, as leaving an online event is much easier than physically leaving offline events.

These elements made the Dialogue Days work better than could be expected at the time when the decision to go online was made. More than 80 people have been engaged in discussions about collaborative innovation across the five days and beyond. The process was inspired by the Austrian initiative Community Creates Mobility, which was a pioneer for transforming participatory events into the virtual world.

This article has been taken from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna. Follow the link below to the original article