Citizens' Juries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The ultimate impact of a Citizens’ Jury on policy and practice is contingent on the power relations and the wider political context of the society in which it takes place. In this regard, some of the challenges that are commonly experienced by Citizens’ Juries are discussed: prejudice about peoples’ knowledge and their ability to meaningfully discuss complex issues; policy spaces that close down debates or co-opt Citizens’ Juries; and ensuring that jury recommendations are debated by government and other decision-makers.

The practice of Citizens’ Juries varies considerably and can best be seen as part of a continuum – from governments using Citizens’ Juries for market research or as a means of legitimating their preferred policy choices to community co-inquiry and more grassroots based activism. In exploring this continuum, the standard Citizens’ Jury model usually deployed by governments is contrasted here with a more open model based on a process of co-inquiry with local communities. The chapter argues that more open-ended Citizens’ Juries embedded in a long-term process of participatory community co-inquiry can significantly amplify the voice and agency of people hitherto excluded from decision-making. Finding better ways of realising this democratic potential is an important frontier for future Citizens’ Juries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopularizing Scholarly Research. Working with Non-academic Stakeholders, Teams, and Communities
EditorsPatricia Leavy
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Number of pages31
Edition1st edition
ISBN (Print)9780190085193
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2021


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