Democratic innovations: design and impact

The colloquium aims to organise yearly panel sessions at the annual NIG conference. Our panel brings together scholars of all levels to discuss new papers as well as work-in-progress and new research ideas. The panel will provide ample opportunity to receive feedback on one’s own work, to share and discuss current developments in policy practice and to build and maintain a relevant network of democratic innovations scholars. The NIG colloquium will provide a fruitful addition to existing networks, such as the ECPR, EGPA or IPSA, by focusing more specifically – though not exclusively – on scholars and cases from the Netherlands and Flanders. However, the chairs of the colloquium also aim to organise panels within ECPR/EGPA/IPSA conferences.

Additionally, we will organise digital or physical mini-symposiums with guest talks and discussions among scholars. Guest speakers can either be renowned democratic innovations scholars or practitioners with relevant experience in the design and implementation phases of democratic innovations. Each mini-symposium will be have a specific theme, depending on the expertise of the guest speaker. There will be room for discussion, either in a plenary or small-group setting, which can be followed by a social or networking activity.

These activities build towards the objective of the colloquium to bring together scholars working on democratic innovations and to share knowledge, experiences and feedback. The colloquium will have a duration of 5 years (2022-2026).

In this colloquium we research democratic innovations from both supply and demand perspectives. We analyse the forms they can take and support for their use through a combination of empirical research, theorising, experimentation and survey studies. In particular, we zoom in on two key perspectives: (1) hybrid democratic innovations, combining voting (such as in referendums) and deliberation (such as in mini-publics) at both national and local levels, analysing both their occurrences and hypothetical designs (supply side) and preferences for design and participation by both citizens and politicians (demand side) and (2) the impact of citizen participation by estimating the attitudes, roles, relationships and legitimacy perceptions of key institutional players (politicians, civil servants, civil society organisations and citizens), analysing their contingency upon institutional attributes of the arrangements and analysing how these arrangements further shapes their roles, relationships and legitimacy perceptions.

Our colloquium aims to bring together scholars analysing democratic innovations from these and related perspectives. We conduct and welcome research which builds on a variety of methods, both qualitative and quantitative.

We dive into questions such as, but not limited to: How can democratic innovations be co- designed with citizens and policymakers? How can we combine elements of deliberation with elements of voting to create innovative hybrids? To which extent or under which conditions do citizens and representative politicians support democratic innovations and are they willing to take part? Under which circumstances does citizen participation create impact?

The ambition of the colloquium is to analyse the topic of democratic innovations from various angles, analysing exemplary cases, surveying citizens and politicians, conducting focus group meetings, experimenting with various designs and investing in theory-building with regard to hybrid democratic innovations and the impact of citizen participation.

The colloquium aims to organise yearly panel sessions at the annual NIG conference. Our panel brings together scholars of all levels to discuss new papers as well as work-in-progress and new research ideas. The panel will provide ample opportunity to receive feedback on one’s own work, to share and discuss current developments in policy practice and to build and maintain a relevant network of democratic innovations scholars. The NIG colloquium will provide a fruitful addition to existing networks, such as the ECPR, EGPA or IPSA, by focusing more specifically – though not exclusively – on scholars and cases from the Netherlands and Flanders. However, the chairs of the colloquium also aim to organise panels within ECPR/EGPA/IPSA conferences.

Additionally, we will organise digital or physical mini-symposiums with guest talks and discussions among scholars. Guest speakers can either be renowned democratic innovations scholars or practitioners with relevant experience in the design and implementation phases of democratic innovations. Each mini-symposium will be have a specific theme, depending on the expertise of the guest speaker. There will be room for discussion, either in a plenary or small-group setting, which can be followed by a social or networking activity.

These activities build towards the objective of the colloquium to bring together scholars working on democratic innovations and to share knowledge, experiences and feedback. The colloquium will have a duration of 5 years (2022-2026).

The colloquium stimulates cutting edge research and information sharing among scholars, likely resulting in high-quality academic papers and research reports. The colloquium will also stimulate co-authorship and other collaborations across institutions and levels of seniority. Colloquium members are encouraged to consider working together on special issues or other collaborative output, in which the panel chairs will take the lead. The guest talks will provide scholars with new insights and opportunities to discuss current topics and related work-in-progress. Early career scholars will be encouraged to take part in the mini-symposiums, with the aim to further build their network and to discuss their ongoing research projects. Recordings of guest talks will be made available to the NIG network and other interested parties.

Dr. Charlotte Wagenaar (Tilburg University) C.C.L.Wagenaar@tilburguniversity.edu
Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks (Tilburg University) f.hendriks@tilburguniversity.edu
Dr. Take Sipma (Tilburg University / Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
Krista Ettlinger (Utrecht University) K.M.Ettlinger@uu.nl
Jelle Turkenburg (University of Twente) j.turkenburg@utwente.nl
Prof. dr. Bram Verschuere (Ghent University) Bram.Verschuere@UGent.be
Prof. Dr. Kristof Steyvers (Ghent University)
Dr. Gilles Pittoors (Ghent University)
Dr. Tessa Haesevoets (Ghent University)