manchester foe logo

Citizen participation 2.0 (hosted by Research in Arts and Humanities at Manchester Met)

Participatory innovations such as Assemblies of randomly-selected lay citizens are increasingly seen as a vital tool in battling against political polarisation and declining citizen confidence and engagement in democracy. Participatory governance, however, is much more than the occasional citizen assembly.

Increasingly practitioners are moving away from a one-off approach, which to date has had limited impact, towards more complex participatory interventions that look like systems of permanent and interconnected online and offline spaces of participation, with multiple opportunities for citizens to influence policymaking at different points.

The lecture will cover some of these developments and discuss some recent examples, based on current work that Sonia Bussu is carrying out with Adrian Bua, De Montfort University, and Rikki Dean, Goethe University Frankfurt, to understand the impact of these participatory systems:

  • Can systems-oriented participation help recapture the radical potential of participatory governance for social transformation?
  • Can it provide a means for social movements to realise bottom-up demands?
  • What are the pragmatic challenges of designing these complex participatory systems?
  • How can they manage the tensions between the different demands of lay citizens, organised civil society, and public officials?

Location: GM 3.42, Geoffrey Manton Building

Book your (free) place via Eventbrite

Sonia Bussu is a public policy scholar and her main research interests are participatory governance and participatory action research. Over the years, she has led research and published on participatory and deliberative processes, community engagement, and coproduction of public services.


Event Details

Location Geoffrey Manton Building
Manchester, M15 6BG
Start Wednesday 22 Jan 2020 1:30pm
Finish Wednesday 22 Jan 2020 3:00pm

Find us on



Support Us

Donate or join us using a standing order or PayPal.