Democracy beyond referenda: Four alternatives

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18 Waterloo Quadrant

18 Waterloo Quadrant

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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Koi Tu Seminar Series - Democracy beyond referenda: four alternatives

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There is a common perception that referenda are the most democratic way to resolve controversial issues because everyone gets an equal say. However, history suggests that referenda are not a reliable mechanism for resolving complex and contentious policy questions (witness Brexit).

Referenda give us a voice, but despite what is often claimed, they do not tell us much about ‘the will of the people’. Developing good policy requires citizens to engage in a robust process of policy development with input from the right people. It requires critical reflection and discussion among people who represent different perspectives and bring different critical capacities to the question.

In this talk, Dr Matheson Russell will consider four alternatives to referenda and evaluate the merits of each.

Dr Matheson Russell is an Associate Professor in Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland. He specialises in social and political philosophy. He is the author of Habermas and Politics (Edinburgh UP, 2019). His current research focuses on reimagining and redesigning democracy so that it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

This is the first in a series of monthly seminars hosted by Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures.

Date and time

Location

18 Waterloo Quadrant

18 Waterloo Quadrant

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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Organiser Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures

Organiser of Democracy beyond referenda: Four alternatives

Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures is an independent and apolitical think tank and research centre based at the University of Auckland.

We generate robust research, knowledge and tools to address critical long-term global and national issues arising from rapid social, economic, technological and environmental change.

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