Nicole Curato is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. She holds the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship for her work on democratic innovations in sensitive political contexts.
Lucy J Parry is a Research Associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. She currently works at Webster Private University in Vienna. She also works closely with Participedia to document and analyse democratic innovations around the world and has been involved in the organisation of deliberative processes in the UK and Australia. Her research has been published in Environmental Values, Agricultural Systems and British Politics.
This piece reflects on the on the legacies of democratic deliberation, particularly mini-publics in responding to issues of disinformation, bigotry and nativism that has entered the political mainstream today. It aims to provoke conversations about the limitations of mini-publics in promoting democratic renewal and reconsider the functions of these forums in democracy’s ‘dark times.’