Institutionalising public deliberation: Insights from the Scottish Parliament
- 135 Downloads
This article analyses the institutionalisation of public and civic forms of deliberation within the Scottish Parliament. The analysis focuses on the committee system of the Parliament and is constructed around a unique database, created by the authors, which records the nature of all deliberative instances involving parliamentary committees and members of the public/stake-holding groups between 1999 and 2009. Findings emerge from the data that are of relevance to two main audiences. First, those with a concern for the abstractions of deliberative theory are provided with much needed empirical evidence about the institutionalisation of deliberative processes within a national legislature. And second, those with a concern for legislative studies and devolved politics are provided with a novel evaluation of deliberation that feeds into wider debates about the principles of the Scottish Parliament. Our findings show that the committees of the Scottish Parliament have been relatively successful in institutionalising a deliberative system comprised of a range of discursive spheres of varying complexity. However, this optimism must be tempered by the observation that this is a system in decline.
Keywordsdeliberative democracy deliberation citizen participation Scottish Parliament devolution Scottish politics
- Bohman, J. and Rehg, W. (1997) Introduction. In: J. Bohman and W. Rehg (eds.) Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods, 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Carmen, C. and Shephard, M. (2009) Committees in the Scottish Parliament. In: C. Jeffery and J. Mitchell (eds.) The Scottish Parliament 1999–2009: The First Decade. Edinburgh, UK: Luath Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1996) Procedure and substance in deliberative democracy. In: S. Benhabib (ed.) Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 95–119.Google Scholar
- Consultative Steering Group. (1999) Shaping Scotland's Parliament: Report of the Consultative Steering Group on the Scottish Parliament. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Office.Google Scholar
- Dryzek, J.S. (2000) Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals Critics and Contestations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Fearon, J. (1998) Deliberation as discussion. In: J. Elster (ed.) Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fung, A. (2007) Minipublics: Deliberative designs and their consequences. In: S.W. Rosenberg (ed.) Deliberation, Participation and Democracy: Can the People Govern? Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Gastil, J. and Levine, P. (eds.) (2005) The Deliberative Democracy Handbook. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Gutmann, A. and Thompson, D. (1996) Democracy and Disagreement: Why Moral Conflict Cannot be Avoided in Politics, and What Should be Done About It. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. (1996) Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Halpin, D., Mcleod, I. and McLaverty, P. (2010) Committee hearings of the Scottish Parliament. Who gives evidence? And does it contribute to ‘policy learning’? Paper Submitted to the Political Studies Association Conference.Google Scholar
- Jeffery, C and Mitchell, J. (2009) The Scottish Parliament 1999–2009: The First Decade. Edinburgh, UK: Luath Press.Google Scholar
- Judge, D. (2005) Political Institutions in the United Kingdom. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Keating, M. (2005) The Government of Scotland: Public Policy Making after Devolution. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
- Mansbridge, J. (1999) Everyday talk in the deliberative system. In: S. Macedo (ed.) Deliberative Politics: Essays on Democracy and Disagreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- McGarvey, N. and Cairney, P. (2008) Scottish Politics: An Introduction. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- McLaverty, P. and Morris, S. (2007) The Scottish Parliament: A new era for participatory democracy? In: T. Zittel and D. Fuchs (eds.) Participatory Democracy and Political Participation: Can Participatory Engineering Bring Citizens Back In? New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Miller, D. (2003) Deliberative democracy and social choice. In: J.S. Fiskin and P. Laslett (eds.) Debating Deliberative Democracy. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Norton, P. (2005) Parliament in British Politics. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Rogers, R. and Walters, R. (2006) How Parliament Works. Essex, UK: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Scottish Constitutional Convention. (1990) Towards Scotland's Parliament. Edinburgh, UK: Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.Google Scholar
- Smith, G. (2000) Toward deliberative institutions. In: M. Saward (ed.) Innovations in Democracy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- SP Paper 254. (2001) Report on the Impact of Changing Employment Patterns in Rural Scotland. First Report of the Rural Development Committee of the Scottish Parliament, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/historic/x-rural/reports-01/rar01-01-v01-01.htm, accessed 20 May 2010.
- SP Paper 508. (2002) Report on Inquiry into the Need for Children's Commissioner in Scotland. Second Report of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/historic/education/reports-02/edr02-ccs.htm.
- SP Paper 552. (2006) Stage 1 Report on the Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill. Fifth Report of the Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/communities/reports-06/cor06-05-Vol01-00.htm.
- SP Paper 622. (2002) Civic Participation Event on Issues of Sentencing and Alternatives to Imprisonment. Special Report for the Justice 1 Committee of the Scottish Parliament, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/historic/justice1/reports-02/j1r02-cpe-02.htm.
- Steiner, J., Bächtiger, A., Spörndli, M. and Steenbergen, M. (2004) Deliberative Politics in Action: Analyzing Parliamentary Discourse. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Thomson, B. (2009) Access and participation: Aiming high. In: C. Jeffery and J. Mitchell (eds.) The Scottish Parliament 1999–2009: The First Decade. Edinburgh, UK: Luath Press.Google Scholar
- Urbinati, N. (2000) Representation as advocacy: A study of democratic deliberation. Policy and Politics 29 (3): 758–786.Google Scholar