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Participatory storylines and their influence on deliberative forums


  • Carolyn Hendriks



For all the recent discussion on the virtues and vices of public deliberation, surprisingly little attention has been given to how deliberative procedures actually operate in different policy contexts. This article takes up this task with a specific focus on how deliberative designs such as citizens' juries and consensus conferences interface with their participatory context. The concept of the participatory storyline is developed to describe the competing narratives associated with a policy issue on who constitutes the publicâ€\x9D and how “theyâ€\x9D should be represented and involved in the policy process. An analysis of two Australian cases reveals how existing participatory storylines can productively or destructively influence deliberative forums. The empirical research suggests that a more productive deliberative procedure is one that supports or “speaks toâ€\x9D existing narratives on what constitutes public participation. Under these conditions key policy actors are more likely to engage in the deliberative process and endorse its outcomes. Some suggestions are provided for how practitioners can better anticipate the way a deliberative forum might interface with its participatory context. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Carolyn Hendriks, 2005. "Participatory storylines and their influence on deliberative forums," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 38(1), pages 1-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-005-0870-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Parkinson, 2003. "Legitimacy Problems in Deliberative Democracy," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51(1), pages 180-196, March.
    2. John F. Forester, 1999. "The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561220, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jennifer Dodge, 2014. "Civil society organizations and deliberative policy making: interpreting environmental controversies in the deliberative system," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 47(2), pages 161-185, June.
    2. Degeling, Chris & Rychetnik, Lucie & Street, Jackie & Thomas, Rae & Carter, Stacy M., 2017. "Influencing health policy through public deliberation: Lessons learned from two decades of Citizens'/community juries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 166-171.
    3. Mikael Klintman, 2009. "Participation in Green Consumer Policies: Deliberative Democracy under Wrong Conditions?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 43-57, March.
    4. Joshua Duke & Lori Lynch, 2007. "Gauging support for innovative farmland preservation techniques," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(2), pages 123-155, June.
    5. Elsasser, Peter, 2007. "Do "stakeholders" represent citizen interests? An empirical inquiry into assessments of policy aims in the National Forest Programme for Germany," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(8), pages 1018-1030, May.
    6. Dave Huitema & Marleen Kerkhof & Udo Pesch, 2007. "The nature of the beast: are citizens’ juries deliberative or pluralist?," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(4), pages 287-311, December.
    7. Manuel Fischer & Philip Leifeld, 2015. "Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for?," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(3), pages 363-382, September.
    8. Michael Sam & Jay Scherer, 2006. "The Steering Group as Policy Advice Instrument: A Case of “Consultocracyâ€\x9D in Stadium Subsidy Deliberations," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 39(2), pages 169-181, June.
    9. Paschen, Jana-Axinja & Ison, Ray, 2014. "Narrative research in climate change adaptation—Exploring a complementary paradigm for research and governance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1083-1092.

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