Ireland's Citizens' Assemblies

16 September 2019

Learning from the Irish Assemblies

This handbook was born of the idea that Ireland’s rich deliberative democratic experiences could, when combined in a straightforward way, be invaluable guides for future democratic experiments throughout Europe and the World. According to the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, deliberative democracy is the concept of “improving collective decision making” by establishing forums in which citizens can deliberate on and provide recommendations for addressing societal issues. Although there are multiple systematic approaches to deliberative democracy, this book will primarily focus on Citizens’ Assemblies (CA).

To date, Ireland has conducted three significant CA exercises: We the Citizens (2011), the Constitutional Convention(2012-2014), and the Citizens’ Assembly (2016-2018). The information contained in this book was compiled from recordings and reports from these Irish assemblies, as well as 13 in-depth interviews with deliberative democracy practitioners from around the world. This data was then analysed and presented in a way that outlines best practices in CA planning, organization, operation, and follow-on.


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