Best laid plans … the institutionalisation of public deliberation in Scotland

Stewart Davidson, Alastair Stark, Gordon Heggie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing support for participatory and deliberative principles amongst academics, practitioners and parliamentarians alike, efforts to infuse political systems with more inclusive and consensual forms of debate often founder. This article explores this conundrum by examining institutional reforms through the lens of deliberative democracy. More specifically, we scrutinise attempts to institutionalise forms of civic deliberation within the Scottish political system via the Scottish Civic Forum and the Scottish Parliament’s committee system. Our analysis tells the story of how these two types of institutional reform, both designed to facilitate the move towards a more participatory and deliberative model of democracy in Scotland, have fared over a ten year period. In turn, this analysis allows us to comment on the ways in which deliberative and parliamentary democracy may be integrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-388
Number of pages10
JournalThe Political Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • politics
  • Scottish politics
  • participation
  • deliberation
  • democracy


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