Christiane Dienel and Ina Metzner have, together with former nexus team member Gordian Haas and Viktoria Luhs from RIFS Potsdam, published an article in the latest issue of INNOVATION, the european journal of social science research.
Deliberation in times of crisis – how can Citizens’ Councils deal with pressing political issues like the Corona pandemic?
The Corona pandemic was one of the most challenging political events of the last decades in Europe in which many important political issues had to be decided within a very short space of time. Deliberative, sortition-based formats offer new approaches to strengthen democracy in times of crisis but have so far mainly been used for fundamental issues that have been under discussion for a long time. In Germany, four Corona Citizens’ Councils were organized at different levels to deal with the highly dynamic pandemic situation. The first was on local level and took place in the city of Augsburg, the next and most prominent one in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg (‘Bürgerforum Corona’), being held monthly over a period of 13 months. Another one was organized in the state of Saxony, a fourth one in Thuringia. The article examines the background, the methodological quality and the outcomes of three Corona Citizens’ Councils in Germany. The article compares the three Citizens’ Councils and draws conclusions about the crisis-management capacities of deliberative formats in dealing with pressing political issues in highly dynamic situations.