Democratic innovations beyond the deliberative paradigm

Paper by Christian Opitz: “The current research on deliberative-participatory democratic innovations conducted by state administration agencies exhibits empirical eclecticism and is dominated by a deliberative paradigm. However, this paradigm tends to conflate normative prescription with analytical description. In contrast, this article proposes a comprehensive re-conceptualization of such innovations, drawing from Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory. It outlines the specific problem these innovations address (function), how they operate in tackling this problem (functioning) and the problems they inevitably raise (dysfunctions). In addition, my re-conceptualization retains the possibility to critically compare these (and other) experiments regarding their capability to address emerging challenges within the modern democratic political system…(More)”.