The economy is an area of decision-making fiercely protected by experts and politicians from public participation. But public confidence in this closed policy community is waning and arguments for democratic participation in an area that so profoundly shapes all our lives are growing. Against this backdrop, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has launched an exciting new project: the Citizens’ Economic Council (CEC). The CEC is the latest ‘deliberative mini-public’ that brings together a randomly selected group of citizens to deliberate and come to recommendations on complex areas of policy. Experience from other policy areas suggests that citizens will be willing and able to come to sound judgements. The pressing question is how participatory institutions such as the CEC can be used more widely to effectively democratise resistant policy communities.
Read Graham’s provocation here.