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Democratic Transformations and Innovations


This course is earmarked for PPD and NP


This course aims at introducing students to the main trajectories of contemporary democratic transformations as well as to the main participatory and deliberative democratic innovations that are being developed in their wake (participatory budgeting, deliberative mini-publics, popular consultations and online participation). The course relies on active student participation in collective discussions of the relevant literature, design exercises and case study presentations. Together with a review or research paper, these will allow students to make sense of the core features, strengths and limitations of democratic innovations, as well as of their relationship with traditional representative institutions, political actors and public policies.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • understand the main past and present trajectories of democratic transformations.

  • identify the main types of democratic innovations and their core components.

  • design a democratic innovation for a specific policy problem and reflect its design critically.

  • evaluate the legitimacy of a democratic innovation.

  • situate democratic innovations in their broader macro-political environment.

Mode of instruction

Seminar: short lectures, collective discussions and design exercises.

Assessment method

Class participation, short design papers, case study presentation and a final paper.


The full reading list and syllabus will be posted on Brightspace before the start of the course. PDFs of all readings will be provided.


See 'Practical Information'


See 'MyTimetable'