The Trans-Atlanticist

The Trans-Atlanticist

A Better Democracy Is Possible Part 1: An Introduction to Sortition and Deliberation

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The year 2022 proved to be a hard test for the resilience of democracies, and 2023 continues to test the strength of democracies worldwide. Threats are both external and internal. Authoritarian governments seek to undermine democratic societies with disinformation campaigns from the outside. Or, as in Russia's case, they simply seek to conquer and obliterate their democratic neighbors. Meanwhile, home-grown groups seek to attack democracy from within, through election denialism, conspiracy theories, and political violence.

However, there is good news for democracy! It can be seen in a number of new and innovative democratic practices developing throughout the world. The two most important of these are sortition and deliberation, the practice of randomly selecting citizens to meet, learn, and discuss an issue of public importance, and then giving them the power to shape the solution to the problem.

In the first of this two-episode miniseries, deliberation expert Antoine Vergne from Missions Publique and sortition expert Ahmed Radi Teleb provide you with an introduction to these new democracy initiatives.

Please find links to information you heard in the podcast below:
US Citizen Juries/Assemblies

Eugen, OR Citizen Panel on Housing:

Michigan's Lottery-based Independent Citizens' Redistricting Commission:

Center for New Democratic Processes (formerly the Jefferson Center):

US Organizations advocating for minipublics etc.

Democracy Without Elections:

Healthy Democracy:

Belgian Permanent Citizens' Council:

DE Citizen Juries/Buergerraete/Citizens' Assemblies:

Recent/Contemporary Buergerraete (non-exhaustive list):

Losland (lot-land in English):

Mehr Demokratie:

German Citizens' Assembly on Climate:

Critiques of elections:

Against Elections, David Van Reybrouck:

Rebooting Democracy, Manuel Arriaga:

Arguments for sortition

Open Democracy, Helene Landemore:

Hope for Democracy, Gastil and Knobloch:

Types of minipublics pdf (frp, New Democracy Foundation in Australia)

Critiques of sorition

Democracy without Shortcuts, Christina LaFont:

Do-It-Yourself Democracy, Caroline Lee:

Legislate by Lot, John Gastil et. al.

Political Agoraphobia

Hatred of Democracy, Jacques Ranciere:

Politics in the Pluriverse, Kennan Ferguson:

Podcasts & Podcast Series


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About this podcast

Andrew Sola explores the past, present, and future of relations between Europe and the United States with scholars, artists, authors, politicians, journalists, and business leaders. Based at the Amerikazentrum in Hamburg, the Trans-Atlanticist provides you with insights from the thought leaders who are shaping the trans-Atlantic relationship every single day.

by Andrew Sola


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