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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group


The PSAI specialist group on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy are delighted to announce the launch of their new interactive website.

Visit to create an account, share information, keep up to dates on news and connect with other members.

Convening Team


This specialist group will bring together scholars and practitioners to co-ordinate and promote theoretical and empirical research in the broad areas of participatory and deliberative democracy. It will offer a space for scholars researching different participatory and deliberative democratic innovations and their applications. Democratic deliberation has seen a turn towards civic engagement and consultative fora across a range of political institutions. Diverse forms of participation are of increasing interest to scholars of public policy and corporatism, the politics of health and ageing, feminism, European and international studies. This specialist group would seek to engage a diverse range of scholars in developing research into deliberative democratic processes across the island of Ireland.

The specialist group will also establish a network of leading scholars in these broad areas, bringing together deliberative democrats with both theoretical and practical orientation to facilitate opportunities for research collaboration. An important outcome of this network will be to provide outlets for the dissemination of research findings at national and international levels.


An e-book Citizens’ Voices, based on the group’s symposium “Beyond the ballot: diverse forms of citizen engagement between democratic elections” held in Dublin in March 2012, may be accessed here.

The Participatory and Deliberative Democracy specialist group 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. 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 Participatory and Deliberative Democracy specialist group welcomes 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.