General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Innovations in Democratic Governance
Language English
Module lecturer Prof. Paulina Pospieszna
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Political Science and Journalism
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 000


Module aim (aims)

Democratic theory has developed emancipatory ideals of inclusion, empowerment, and transparency; however, these ideals have not been fully practiced to a large extent due to many limitations coming from the adopted formal institutions and mechanisms of representative democracy. Scholars believe that to allow citizens to take a greater role in public affairs, some forms of participatory and deliberative politics should be implemented through democratic innovations. These innovations are expected to facilitate inclusive, respectful, well-informed, and more consensus-oriented communication, which is crucial to democratic quality. The goal of the course is to review the debates on participatory and deliberative democracy; we also will draw on comparative analysis of democratic innovations implemented in different countries. This is a reading and writing course and students are expected to actively participate in class.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


The course grade will be determined by the course participation and discussion, written forms, and group presentations. Students’ regular attendance and active class participation are a basic requirement. Attendance will be monitored with an attendance sheet. Students are expected to be present and active participation during seminar discussions is essential.


Week 1:          Introduction/ Defining Liberal Democracy

Week 2:          Limitations and Challenges of Liberal Democracy

Week 3:          Changes and Reforms of Democracy

Week 4:          Democratic Innovations and Theories of Democracy (deliberative, direct, participatory)

Week 5:          Democracy Innovations: Definition, Typology and Origin

Week 6:          Participatory Budgeting

Week 7:          Referendum and citizens’ initiatives

Week 8:          Citizens’ Assemblies, Juries (1)

Week 9:          Citizens’ Assemblies, Juries (2)

Week 10:          Deliberative Polling

Week 11:          Mini-publics: design choices, actors, and legitimacy

Week 12:          Democratic innovations in North America

Week 13:          Democratic innovations in Latin America

Week 14:          Democratic innovations in Europe

Week 15:          Effectiveness and Evaluation of Democratic Innovations

Reading list

Some examples of readings that will be used during the class. All readings will be provided by the instructor via Moodle platform: