Deliberation; Institutional Research; Political Psychology; Political Philosophy; Experimental Research; Institutions
Lindell Marina, Bächtiger André, Grönlund Kimmo, Setälä Maija, Herne Kaisa, Wyss Dominik (2016), “What drives the Polarization and Moderation of Opinions? Evidence from a Finnish Citizen Deliberation Experiment on Immigration, in European Journal of Political Research
, 56(1), 23-45.
Gerber Marlène Bächtiger André Fiket Irena Steenbergen Marco R. Steiner Jürg (2016), Deliberative and Non-Deliberative Persuasion: Opinion Change in a Pan-European Deliberative Poll (Europolis), in European Union Politics
, 15(3), 410-429.
Grönlund Kimmo Bächtiger André Setälä Maija (2014), Deliberative Mini-Publics: Involving citizens in the democratic process
, ECPR Press, Colchester.
Bächtiger André (2013), Empirische Deliberationsforschung – ein systematischer Überblick, in Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft
, 7, 155-181.
Eisenkopf Gerald und André Bächtiger (2013), Mediation and Conflict Prevention, in Journal of Conflict Resolution
, 57(4), 570-597.
Bächtiger André Könemann Judith Jödicke Ansgar (2012), Religious reasons in the public sphere: an empirical study of religious actors’ argumentative patterns in Swiss direct-democratic campaigns, in European Political Science Review
, 5(1), 105-131.
Dryzek John Bächtiger André Milewicz Karolina (2011), Toward a Deliberative Global Citizens’ Assembly John, in Global Policy
, 2(1), 33-42.
Gerber Marlène, Bächtiger André, Shikano Susumu, Reber Simon, Rohr Samuel, Deliberative Abilities and Influence in a Transnational Deliberative Poll (Europois, in British Journal of Political Science
Pedrini Seraina André Bächtiger and Marco R. Steenbergen, Deliberative Inclusion of Minorities: Patterns of Reciprocity among Linguistic Groups in Switzerland., in European Political Science Review
Baccaro Lucio Bächtiger André Deville Marion, Small Differences that Matter: The Impact of Discussion Modalities on Deliberative Outcomes, in British Journal of Political Science
Deliberation has moved to the forefront in contemporary democratic theory. The main argument in the philosophical literature is that politics should not only be about power, reduced to counting votes or to bargaining among actors with fixed preferences. Rather, politics should be deliberative, infused with reason and arguments. The goal of my project is to explore the reform potential of our existing political systems for more deliberative action and to develop specific recommendations in this direction. I focus on the “analytic” and the “structural” dimensions of deliberative reforms. The “analytic” dimension of reform requires identifying the conditions of deliberation in the real world. In this regard, a major challenge is to develop a more unified approach to understanding deliberative processes and outcomes. For instance, getting the macro institutions right only creates the right background condition for deliberative action. Thus, for deliberation to be of more sizeable proportion as well as to be consequential in the political sphere, the right macro institutions must combine (or interact) with specific issues, group composition, specific types of parties, actor characteristics, deliberative dynamics and argumentative quality. This leads to a multilevel conceptualization of deliberative politics. A multilevel conceptualization assumes that deliberative capacities are embedded both in higher and lower level contexts, whereby higher level contexts can influence lower-level processes and outcomes. Put differently, higher level characteristics can offset (or amplify) individual level effects. My main hypothesis is that there are certain institutional constellations - especially coalition arrangements with low party discipline - which are favorable to more deliberative politics, while other constellations - government-opposition settings with strong party discipline - are generally not conducive to it. In order to make the latter more deliberative, institutional reforms are necessary. Translated into my hierarchical framework, this also means that in government-opposition settings with strong party discipline issue type, groups, partisan and actor characteristics, deliberative dynamics and argumentative quality tend to be overrun by the overall institutional logic. In coalition arrangements, however, these additional logics may have a strong effect and may help to overcome the institutional vices that these constellations entail. Empirically, I will engage both in experimental and observational research. The goal of experimental research is to provide a causal test of different factors at the micro-level, which is very difficult to achieve in comparative observational research. In concrete, the experiments will simulate the logics of the different institutional, issue, group and actors constellations Observational research will help to provide external validity to the experimental findings. In this regard, I will complement my large data bank on legislative debates in Switzerland, Germany, the United States and Great Britain. The “structural” dimension of deliberative reform implies “moving beyond the study of isolated or one-time deliberative experiences and examining the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative practices in the political system as a whole and over time.” (Thompson 2008: 500) For deliberation in the political system this boils down to the question whether citizens would accept a more deliberative behavior of their elected representatives. Empirically, I will explore this question via focus groups consisting of different segments of the electorate in Switzerland and Great Britain. These focus groups will explore - based on experimental transcripts and excerpts of parliamentary debates - the desirability of highly deliberative ways of interaction and highly competitive ways of interaction in politics.