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Scientific Blog Post Year : 2023

Citizen Assemblies and the Challenges of Democracy

Les assemblés citoyens et le défi de la démocratie


There are a wide range of ways to create decision-making bodies in democratic societies. Elections are one of the most common, with individuals stepping forward and seeking public support. If elected by their fellow citizens, they then take action on their behalf. This is known as representative democracy. An alternative form is direct democracy, which involves all citizens voting on proposed government policies or legislation. af Another form that's growing in popularity are citizens' assemblies-decision-making bodies created by random selection. While less widespread, they're creating a sense of optimism about democracy among those who have heard about or taken part in them, as well as organisations such as the OECD. Randomisation-also known as sortition-holds out the possibility that everyone can have an equal chance of being selected; politically, it offers the hope of consensus because partisan engagements are not a prerequisite for participation. Randomisation also promises an assembly where diversity of experience and opinions promotes critical reflection and reasoned judgement, as with criminal juries. France's Convention for the Climate, held from 2019 to 2020, brought together 150 randomly selected citizens and asked them define measures to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. Katrin Baumann/CCC
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hal-03891036 , version 1 (20-01-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03891036 , version 1


Annabelle Lever. Citizen Assemblies and the Challenges of Democracy. 2023. ⟨hal-03891036⟩
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