Institutionalising Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Working Group: report

Recommends how the Scottish Government's ambition for change can be delivered to make Scotland’s democracy more participative and inclusive, and proposes next steps as it incorporates processes for participatory and deliberative democracy into the democratic system.


1. References: Curato, N.; Farrell, D.M.; Geißel, B.; Grönlund, K.; Mockler, P.; Pilet, J.-B.; Renwick, A.; Rose, J.; Setälä, M.; and Suiter, J. (2021) Deliberative Mini-Publics: Core Design Features. Bristol University Press: Bristol, UK.

Dryzek, J. (2000) Deliberative Democracy and Beyond, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Electoral Reform Society (2019), What Are Citizens' Assemblies?, (available at: What-Are-Citizens'-Assemblies-Briefing-June-2019.pdf (

Elstub, S. (2006) 'A Double Edged Sword: The Increasing Diversity of Deliberative Democracy', Contemporary Politics, 12(3-4): 301-320.

Elstub, S., Farrell, D., Carrick, J., and Mockler, P. (2021) Evaluation of Climate Assembly UK, Newcastle: Newcastle University (Available at:

Elstub, S. & Escobar, O. (2019) 'Defining and Typologising Democratic Innovations', in Elstub, S. & Escobar, O. The Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Held, D. (1996) Models of Democracy, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Hooghe, M., Hosch-Dayican, B., and van Deth, J. W. (2014) 'Conceptualizing political participation', Acta Politica, 49(3): 337–348.

Huntington, S.P. (1968) Political Order in Changing Societies, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

Schmidt and Aitken, (2022), Citizens' Assemblies - an international comparison, Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) Briefing, (available at: )

2. Wellbeing Economy Alliance, Failure Demand: Counting the true costs of an unjust and unsustainable economic system

3. Scottish Government, Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment guidance

4. Scottish Government, A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22, page 106

5. Scottish Government, Covid Recovery Strategy: for a fairer future

6. Scottish Government, Commitment to future Citizens' Assemblies

7. Scottish Government, Future of Participatory Budgeting in Scotland: framework

8. Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), Are citizens' assemblies in Scotland "here to stay"?

9. Elstub, S. & Carrick, J. (2020) Comparing Mini-Publics in the Scottish Parliament, Newcastle: Newcastle University

10. Audit Scotland, Principles for community empowerment

11. See: Escobar, O., Morton, S., Lightbody, R., & Seditas, K. (2017). Hard to reach or easy to ignore: Promoting equality in community engagement. What Works Scotland., Glasgow Disability Alliance; 2019

12. Scottish Government, Embedding human rights in our work

13. Scottish Community Development Centre, National Standards for Community Engagement

14. Scottish Government, Social Security Experience Panels: publications

15. Scottish Government, Covid Recovery Strategy: for a fairer future

16. RSE post-Covid 19 Futures Commission: Coming Out of Covid-19: Reimagining Scotland

17. Doing Politics Differently: the report of the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland

18. Report: Christie Commission on the future delivery of public services

19. COSLA, Blueprint for Local Government

20. Electoral Reform Society, Democracy Max: A Vision for a Good Scottish Democracy

21. The Jimmy Reid Foundation, Government By The People

22. COSLA, Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy, Effective Democracy: Connecting With Communities

23. Inclusion Scotland, People-Led Policy Panel (Adult Social Care Support)

24. Scottish Recovery Network, What makes engagement meaningful?

25. A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22 - (

26. Royal Society of Edinburgh Post-Covid Futures Commission, (2021) Coming out of Covid-19: Reimagining Scotland, 202110_Covid-Commission-Report_04-REPORT.pdf ( p. 9

27. European Commission, Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy

28. Scottish Government, Citizens' Assembly of Scotland: research report

29. We note that a centre for expertise in democratic innovation in Scotland has previously been called for in the final report from the COSLA Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy (2014) and the post-Covid recovery report by Royal Society of Edinburgh (2021)

30. See supporting document: Values, Principles and Standards for Participation, Democratic Innovations and Citizens' Assemblies

31. OECD, Eight Ways to Institutionalise Deliberative Democracy

32. OECD, Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave, OECD, Eight Ways to Institutionalise Deliberative Democracy



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