Democracy in Crisis is a special online series of global roundtable discussions about the use of randomly-selected citizen assemblies to further democracy. Democracy in Crisis is produced by Ahmed Teleb, Brian Standing, the 8 O’Clock Buzz and WORT-FM.
Welcome to the second episode of “Democracy in Crisis” an in-depth series right here on WORT. In our first episode, we heard from global experts about how and why electoral, representative government seems to be failing the promise of democracy. Today, we explore some alternatives to electoral politics that may get us closer to the ideal of “government of, by and for the people.” Joining host Brian Standing for this episode are:
- Linn Davis is the Program Manager at Healthy Democracy in Oregon, a leading organization in the field of citizens engagement and participation. He holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a BA in history from Grinnell College. Prior to Healthy Democracy, he worked at PSU’s Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies and at Metro, the Portland area’s regional government. His first career was in journalism, including stints at National Public Radio’s On the Media and at several newspapers and magazines in South Africa and India.
- Dr. Jane Suiter, is an Associate Professor at Dublin City University. with a focus on the public sphere and in particular on scaling up deliberation and disinformation. She is a research fellow with both the Irish Citizen and Constitutional Assemblies, and a founder member of We the Citizens, Ireland’s first deliberative experiment. She was the joint winner of the Brown Democracy Medal in 2019 and the President’s Award for Research. She has published in 30 plus journals including Science, International Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Politics and the International Journal of Communication and is the author of Reimagining Democracy: Lessons in Deliberative Democracy from the Irish Frontline.
- Dr. Lyn Carson, is a professor with the Business Education Unit at The University of Sydney Business School and is now Research Director at New Democracy Foundation in Sydney, Australia. For the past 25 years she has taught and researched in the field of deliberative democracy, asking how the wider public can help to resolve policy challenges. She was involved in convening or supporting Australia’s first Consensus Conference, the first Deliberative Polls, the first Australian Citizens’ Parliament, numerous Citizens’ Juries and Community Summits and a host of other public deliberations at local, state and national levels.
- Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel researches planning and citizen participation as part of the social science faculty at Technical University Berlin and co-founder of Nexus Foundation Berlin. He studied mechanical engineering, history, philosophy and sociology in Hanover, Washington and Munich after graduating from high school and completing an apprenticeship as a heating engineer (journeyman’s certificate). In 1990 he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering (TU Munich, Institute for Thermodynamics) and in 1993 received his doctorate with a dissertation on the interactions between universities and industry in the United States and Germany in 1870-1930.
- Adam Cronkright, co-founded Democracy In Practice in 2013 while volunteering with the Foundation Abril in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and lived in Bolivia working on the ground there until 2018. Currently he is working in the US helping launch a Citizens’ Panel on Covid-19. He is also on the Coordinating Committee of Democracy R&D, a network of 30 organizations advancing democratic lotteries in 18 countries around the world. Back in the day, Adam was deeply involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests in Manhattan, where he co-facilitated two sessions of the occupation’s General Assembly.