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Three - Recruitment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2023

Nicole Curato
Affiliation:
University of Canberra
David Farrell
Affiliation:
University College Dublin
Brigitte Geissel
Affiliation:
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Am Main
Kimmo Grönlund
Affiliation:
Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Patricia Mockler
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
Jean-Benoit Pilet
Affiliation:
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Alan Renwick
Affiliation:
University College London
Jonathan Rose
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
Maija Setälä
Affiliation:
University of Turku, Finland
Jane Suiter
Affiliation:
Dublin City University
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Summary

Introduction

Successful recruitment is key to a meaningful mini-public deliberation. There is a need to ensure that the deliberating sample represents as many interests as possible that will be affected by the decisions at hand; otherwise, the whole endeavour risks losing legitimacy. This is because the basis for engaging lay citizens in deliberation relies on the idea of inclusion, and since it is impossible in most cases to invite all the affected people to deliberate in small groups, the deliberating sample needs to be representative. Mini-public deliberation is not built on representativeness in the electoral sense, where people first vote and give their representatives powers to decide for the whole demos, and then have the possibility to hold the representatives accountable for their actions at the next election. The accountability of DMPs relies instead on their demographic representativeness – on the idea that the wider population can see the DMP as a mirror of themselves (Farrell and Stone, 2020). Whereas representative systems based on elections produce institutions in which the representatives are typically highly educated and often resourceful, the goal for DMPs is to achieve a sample of representatives whom the people can view as their genuine peers.

The chapter is organized as follows. It starts by briefly reviewing four different methods for choosing representatives: elections; corporatism or appointment by interest groups and NGOs; selfselection; and random sampling. We then set out arguments in favour of random sampling, including discussion of the merits and limits of pure random sampling in recruiting for DMPs. This is followed by a review of the methodology underlying stratified random sampling, building on issues discussed in Chapter Two.

Different methods for selecting participants

There are a range of possible mechanisms for appointing people to represent a wider public. Table 3.1 lists four such mechanisms: elections, corporatism, self-selection, and random sampling – all methods that are known and in use across different societies. Table 3.1 focuses on the dimension of representativeness regarding each of the mechanisms, and summarizes the relative advantages and disadvantages of each from this perspective.

In contemporary democracies, elections are the most commonly used method for selecting political representatives. ‘One man, one vote’ was used as an argument in the 19th century to achieve universal (male) suffrage (Howell, 1880).

Type
Chapter
Information
Deliberative Mini-Publics
Core Design Features
, pp. 34 - 47
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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