Call for Papers for the PSAI-PDD Conference

One-day Conference of the PSAI/PSA Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Groups

Cross-border Transformations - Deliberation and Participation in Constitutional Politics

9th August 2024 in Dublin (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

Deadline for submissions: 30th April 2024

*please note, some information in this page has been updated*

The PDD conference is organised by the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI PDD) and the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group of the UK Political Studies Association. The conference will take place in Dublin, Ireland, on Friday August 9th, 2024. This event will take place just before the ECPR 2024 General Conference.

About the conference

Recent advances in the field of participatory and deliberative democracy have brought a strong set of normative critiques that address the various shortcomings of and challenges encountered by contemporary representative democracies. These criticisms emphasise the need for a higher level of public engagement, more robust and effective representation, and stronger mechanisms for involving citizens in the decision-making process. In addition, they point towards ways to provide greater transparency and accountability in the political process and improve the quality of public discourse and deliberation.

For the first joint conference of the Participatory & Deliberative Democracy Specialist Groups of the Irish and British Political Studies Association, we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions from all researchers in the field.

The focal point of this conference, though, are questions and debates about the use of participatory and deliberative “democratic innovations” to address questions of constitutional reform, state/regime form and territorial politics.

Against the backdrop of “democratic crisis phenomena” in (what were considered) established democracies as well as in the aftermath of Brexit, these issues gain salience. In current public and scholarly debates, questions arise with respect to the emerging constitutional debate on a potential future united Ireland; others arise in the United Kingdom, in debates over devolution and federalisation; and they are related to important issues internationally from Catalonia to Chile. They are important as a central element in developing an agenda for future participatory research.

A range of recent participatory and deliberative processes not just address specific policy-issues, but their potential to “change the rules of the democratic game”, for institutional reforms and constitution-making amidst territorial change. Two illustrative examples are the Icelandic constitutional reform and the German citizens’ assembly on the future of democracy.

Furthermore, the concept of multilevel structures for deliberation and participation in politics and more complex combinations of different democratic innovations has gained considerable attention in recent years. The emergence of new advances in technology and the changing face of politics now just as recurring debates about “democratic constitutionalism” promise that people’s voices are not only heard. Rather, a range of researchers and practitioners attempt to involve so-called “lay citizens” in the process of writing and amending constitutions, allowing for a more democratic and inclusive approach to constitutional politics. Throughout the conference we will address this potential, as well as the potential for ‘systemic’ and ‘participatory’ approaches to constitutional reforms.

In this one-day inaugural conference, held just before the ECPR  2024 conference in Dublin, we want to combine international comparison and theoretical insights with a focus on the specific difficulties of participative and democratic discussion about a possible future united Ireland. Thus we invite scholarly papers addressing these topics across a range of cases, and from different theoretical perspectives. We will also organise a final practitioner panel reflecting on the international lessons for participatory democratic deliberation and discussion of potential constitutional change on the island of Ireland.


Submission guidelines for authors

How to submit a paper/panel proposal: Please send a paper abstract of around 150 words with a title, authors’ names, and affiliation to psai-pdd@dcu.ie by 30th April 2024.

This conference will not charge a conference registration fee.


Important Dates

Deadline for abstract submission: 30th April 2024

Notification of acceptance: May 2024


Organising committee:

Dr Valesca Lima, Dublin City University, School of Law and Governance
Professor Jane Suiter, Dublin City University, School of Communications
Professor Jennifer Todd, Geary Institute for Public Policy Research, University College Dublin
Dr Jayne Carrick, University of Sheffield, Department of Politics and International Relations

For any enquiries regarding the programme, please contact: psai-pdd@dcu.ie.