Experts: The Politics of Evidence and Expertise in Democratic Innovation

Ruth Lightbody, Jennifer J. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Experts can play a number of roles in democratic innovations. However, there is disagreement between deliberative democrats about whether or not experts should be involved at all. Should the citizens’ deliberations - or their decisions - be divorced from technical expertise? Is this possible - given that expertise shapes the information about a topic that is presented in the public domain, and attended to by policy makers? Or is expertise crucial for defining the scope and relevance of the deliberative or participatory process? In any case, who defines expertise, and what constitutes evidence? Who decides who governs democratic innovations, who provides evidence and perspectives to participants, and what is the best way for this information to be delivered, and digested? This chapter explores some of these issues before outlining some of the key practical and normative issues around involving experts in democratic innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance
EditorsStephen Elstub, Oliver Escobar
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781786433862
ISBN (Print)9781786433855
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2019


  • experts
  • democratic innovations
  • decision making


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