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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group


Dr. Anthony Costello, University College Cork. Email:

Dr. Laurence Davis, University College Cork. Email:

Dr. Vanessa Liston, CiviQ. Email:

Dr. Valesca Lima, Dublin City University. Email:

About the Specialist Group

This specialist group aims to bring together scholars and practitioners to coordinate and promote theoretical and empirical research in the broad areas of participatory and deliberative democracy. Diverse forms of public participation are of increasing interest to scholars across the social sciences. However, the growth in democratic deliberation – being the process of collective decision shaping (or decision-making) by civic participants within consultative (or decision-making) fora – is of increasing interest to scholars; especially those within the field of political science. The growth of Democratic Deliberation has inspired interest from scholars, not least, scholars of governance and public policy/decision making, public administration, social policy development (health policies and ageing, etc), and European and international studies.

Aims of the Specialist Group

This specialist group offers a diverse range of scholars a collaborative space to develop and disseminate new and innovative research about deliberative democratic processes across the island of Ireland that will have an impact on the wider body of scholarship both nationally and internationally. It will be an active source of scholarship and collaboration in this ever-developing field. The focus of such collaboration will include events such as political theory workshops (with invited speakers from abroad) and dedicated panels at the annual PSAI conference. It is envisaged that this will lead into combined proposals for larger conferences (such as the PSA, the ECPR, APSA, and IPSA), annual workshops, and shared research/publishing initiatives. Importantly, the group will also be a forum for professional networking between those working in the area and it is envisaged that there will be research collaborations leading to publications and research funding bids. Expansion of the research agenda of participatory and deliberative democracy into growth areas such as the politics of health and the politics of ageing present additional research and funding opportunities for the group.

The PDD Blog

The specialist group would like to invite members (and non-members) with an interest in Participatory and Deliberative Democracy to contribute informal opinion pieces to the PSAI Blog. Opinion pieces should ideally range between 600-800 words and may pertain to all theoretical and/or empirical aspects of participatory and deliberative democracy. You can email your pieces to Dr Anthony Costello (

Follow us on Twitter

For updates on the work of the PSAI PDD Specialist Group (and members), as well as upcoming conferences/workshops of interest, please follow us on Twitter.


The Participatory and Deliberative Democracy specialist group welcomes new members. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.

You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the Group.