Filozofija I Društvo 33 (1):26-49 (2022)

In this paper, we examine whether it is possible to improve democracy by encouraging ordinary citizens to participate in political decision-making and if participation in deliberative institutions can make citizens more competent decision-makers. By using qualitative data, we analyze the discussion from the Belgrade citizens? assembly focused on the topic of expanding the pedestrian zone in the city center. The CA was organized in Serbia for the first time, as part of a research project aimed at promoting and advancing innovative democratic practices in the Western Balkans. The goal was to encourage the involvement of citizens in discussions of public interest. Our hypothesis was that, through the process of participation and deliberation in CA, ordinary citizens can make reasonable and informed choices, increase their knowledge of the issue discussed, and become more motivated to participate in political decision-making on the local level. Our qualitative content analysis suggests that deliberation had a positive impact on participants? knowledge of the chosen topic of the assembly. It also shows that citizens used exhaustive explanations rather than brief statements, could differentiate the good arguments from the bad, and more often appealed to general rather than private interests. Participants in the assembly reported a significant increase in interest in political decision-making that affects their lives, as well as a sense of being informed about politics. Finally, we wanted to draw attention to the challenges and open questions that remain, namely those that concern the impact of a deliberative body on political decision-making in the real world.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2298/fid2201026j
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,265
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
Upheavals of Thought.Martha Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Why Deliberative Democracy?Amy Gutmann & Dennis F. Thompson - 2004 - Princeton University Press.
Critical Pragmatism and Deliberative Democracy.Alison Kadlec - 2008 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 55 (117):54-80.
Deliberative Democracy in Divided Societies.John S. Dryzek - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (2):218-242.
Deliberative Democracy and Political Ignorance.Ilya Somin - 2010 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 22 (2-3):253-279.
Robust Deliberative Democracy.Daniel Layman - 2016 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (3-4):494-516.
A Citizens’ Assembly for the Cognitively Disabled.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (1):205-229.
War, Manipulation of Consent, and Deliberative Democracy.William S. Lewis - 2008 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 22 (4):pp. 266-277.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,278,672 of 2,507,707 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #169,849 of 2,507,707 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes