This co-authored report outlines issues and challenges related to the future development of citizen panels. It presents results from a high-level international workshop on “Challenging futures of of citizen panels,” which was held in 2013 by the Innovation in Governance Research Group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and brought together leading stakeholders involved in the development of citizen panels as an innovation in governance.
Many of the issues identified during the workshop and in the report ostensibly seem to be technical questions of finding the “right” design for doing “good” deliberation. However, as underlined in the debate, most of these issues are related to fundamental differences in worldviews and philosophies. Differences in viewing “the public” in which citizen panels operate, in explaining politics or prioritizing the challenges faced. In order to support the social robustness and legitimacy of citizen panels, we suggest a cautious approach which supports the discussion and negotiation of diverse theoretical perspectives on citizen panels and design standards. The main promise of citizen panels is to counteract technocratic modes of governance. A key challenge for the future is to prevent the establishment of another technocracy, in this case with regard to political procedure.
Mann, Carsten, Jan-Peter Voß, Nina Amelung, Arno Simons, Till Runge, and Louisa Grabner. 2014. Challenging Futures of Citizen Panels. Critical Issues for Robust Forms of Public Participation. A Report Based on an Interactive, Anticipatory Assessment of the Dynamics of Governance Instruments, 26 April 2013. Berlin. Technische Universität Berlin.