Facilitating Inclusion: Austrian Wisdom Councils as Democratic Innovation between Consensus and Diversity

Abstract

Democratic innovations face the challenge of realizing deliberative democratic ideals in the context of structural inequality. Consensus decision making and expertise have been said to have exclusive effects on marginalized groups like women and ethnic and sexual minorities, which obstructs diversity. Wisdom Councils as practiced in Austria attempt to counter inequalities by including marginalized groups through the moderation technique dynamic facilitation. Exploratory participatory observations and interviews with a moderator and the participants of two Wisdom Councils in Austria provide a deeper understanding of the inclusive processes at work in Wisdom Councils facilitating a productive combination of consensus and diversity.

Keywords

diversity, consensus, inclusion, facilitation, gender, Wisdom Councils, deliberative democracy, democratic innovations

How to Cite

Asenbaum H., (2016) “Facilitating Inclusion: Austrian Wisdom Councils as Democratic Innovation between Consensus and Diversity”, Journal of Public Deliberation 12(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.259

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Authors

Hans Asenbaum (University of Westminster)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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