The micro-macro link in deliberative polling: Deliberative experiments and democratic legitimacy

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Series Details No.05, June 2013
Publication Date 2013
ISSN 1890- 7741
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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.

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