About / Join


The Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group co-ordinates and promotes theoretical and empirical research in democratic theory and democratic innovation.  We’re a specialist group of the UK’s Political Studies Association, and our members include:

  • policy makers and advisors in central and local government
  • academics in political science, sociology, human geography, philosophy, public policy, and more…
  • researchers in think tanks and private foundations
  • public policy entrepreneurs

We work closely with our colleagues in the European Consortium for Political Research’s Democratic Innovations Group. We host panels at the Political Studies Association’s annual conference and organise frequent conferences, seminars, and workshops, some face-to-face and some online.




We welcome anyone with an interest in participatory or deliberative democracy.

It’s free to join and PSA membership is not required – although we do warmly encourage qualified members to do so: it saves on conference fees for you, and improves funding for the group as a whole.

PSA members should log onto the PSA website and request membership via the Group Memberships tab.

Non-PSA members, please email the convenors at PSADemocracy [at] gmail.com

Group Convenors

DSC01749Dr Hans Asenbaum
Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance
University of Canberra


IMG_20200820_120606Dr Sonia Bussu
Department of History, Politics & Philosophy
Manchester Metropolitan University



Anastasia2Dr Anastasia Deligiaouri
School of Communications Dublin City University



headshot-2Dr Dayo Eseonu




dannica-fleussDr Dannca Fleuß
Department of Political Science
Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg




We are proud of and grateful for the support of distinguished scholars in the field of participatory and deliberative democracy.

Donatella della portaDonatella Della Porta is professor of political science and dean of the Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy, where she also leads the Center on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos). She has written extensively on social movements and participatory governance. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Mattei Dogan Prize for distinguished achievements in the field of political sociology.

2959.jpgJohn Parkinson is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Maastricht University. His work contributed to establishing the deliberative systems approach, and moreover focuses on democratic innovations and deliberative processes of meaning making. He is author of Deliberating in the Real World (2006), Democracy and Public Space (2012), and Mapping and Measuring Deliberation (2019, together with André Bächtiger).

Picture1.pngCarole Pateman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University. Her work on participatory democracy and feminist theory has a lasting impact on the scholarship of democracy. She is author of Participation and Democratic Theory (1970), The Sexual Contract (1988), The Disorder of Women (1989), and Contract and Domination (2007, together with Charles Mills).


Michael Saward is Professor of Politics at the University of Warwick. His innovative contributions to democratic theory focus on democratic design, representation and performativity, and the role of political ideas in practical political life. He is author of Democracy (2003), The Representative Claim (2010) and editor of Democratic Innovations: Representation, Deliberation, and Association (2006).

Picture1.pngGraham Smith is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. His work investigates democratic innovations, environmental politics, and sustainability. He is author of Deliberative Democracy and the Environment (2003), Beyond the Ballot (2005), and Democratic Innovations (2009).


1 Comment

  1. I would like to invite you to Egora-ILP.org. Where we organize Citizen Assembly, via zoom. We discuss political, philosophical and social solutions, as well as, encourage critical thinking skills.

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