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Dates and Times

21 February 2023
11:00 - 12:00


Building: 24
Room: Fishbowl


Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance


Professor Jane Suiter

CDDGG Seminar Series - Jane Suiter

Assessing the potential of climate change assemblies to?counteract strategic actors through?“communicative flows”.

Assessments of climate change citizen assemblies have devoted much attention to the quality of deliberation within assemblies and to their embeddedness in the existing system of representative-democratic institutions and the policy cycle. This has shed light on the design of climate change assemblies and on strategies for making their results matter in collectively binding decision-making. Nevertheless, a comprehensive theoretical understanding of the potential for deliberative communication between elites and citizens to underpin climate action also requires a more differentiated understanding of political communication involving climate change assemblies as well as mediated communication. Assessments of climate change assemblies need to systematically account for “communicative flows” between citizen assemblies and diverse actors and spaces in the broader democratic system, including elites, and media.

This talk presents an analytical framework for studying climate change assemblies that builds on systemic deliberative theory accounting for the complexity of the 21st century media landscape as a site for deliberation and political communication (including heterogeneous spaces such as traditional mass media, blogs, different social media).

We illustrate the merits of our framework for a deeper understanding of climate change assemblies’ potential to counteract the impact of vested interests and strategic actors by referring to empirical analyses of exemplary cases in Ireland, Germany and the UK.

The paper presented in this talk is co-authored with Dr Dannica Fleuß of Dublin City University.

About the speaker

Jane Suiter is Professor in the School of Communications at Dublin City University (DCU) and is director of DCU's Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society. Her research focus is on the information environment in the public sphere and in particular on scaling up deliberation and tackling disinformation. She is a visiting professor at the University of Canberra in February 2023.

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