Power to the people? Investigating how New Zealand political elites view deliberative democracy

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dc.contributor.advisor Buklijas, Tatjana
dc.contributor.advisor Lees-Marshment, Jennifer
dc.contributor.author Büdler, Julia
dc.date.accessioned 2023-02-15T01:54:52Z
dc.date.available 2023-02-15T01:54:52Z
dc.date.issued 2022 en
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2292/62867
dc.description.abstract In light of the ‘democratic deficit’ said to be faced by many Western democracies, the topic of democratic innovation has garnered broad interest from academics and practitioners alike (Dryzek & Niemeyer, 2019). Of these democratic innovations, deliberative democracy arguably constitutes the most active area of political theory in its entirety and is experiencing a surge of use internationally, in a trend called the ‘deliberative wave’ (OECD, 2020). Central to deliberative democracy are elite political actors – politicians and high-level advisors or policymakers - who, because of their ‘disproportionate power and influence’, play an imperative role in the process of innovating democracy (Diamond, 1999, p. 66). However, these political elites and their role in deliberative democracy is critically understudied. This thesis investigates how New Zealand political elites view deliberative democracy – an innovation that has not yet been used by New Zealand’s central government. This study adopts a multimethod qualitative analysis approach, conducting 15 independent interviews with New Zealand political elites, supplemented by document analysis of primary data from Hansard parliamentary debates, Beehive press releases, official government and political party websites and media interviews. Findings indicate that New Zealand political elites’ views of deliberative democracy can be broadly described as cautiously optimistic. Elites’ views are optimistic, sceptical and pragmatic in nature, informed by normative, instrumental and epistemic reasoning. While some of the study’s findings resonate with existing international research, the thesis adds significant value and original contributions to both scholarship and practice by addressing the gap in the literature on both New Zealand’s engagement with deliberative democracy and political elites’ views on deliberative democracy. Synthesising this thesis’ findings, the argument is then made that the analysis of elites’ views suggests that ultimately there is potential for a trial deliberative process to take place in New Zealand and more research should be undertaken aligning with the empirical turn of deliberative theory (Rosenburg, 2005).
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/
dc.title Power to the people? Investigating how New Zealand political elites view deliberative democracy
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Politics and international Relations
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.date.updated 2022-12-21T00:45:58Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en

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