Recent criticism of representative liberal democracy has spurred democratic experiments involving citizen consultations in deliberative forums. However, more research is needed in order to understand the conditions necessary to make them work. The aim of this paper is to help mitigate this deficiency and at the same time contribute to an informed reflection over the specific conditions for deliberative democracy in Korea. The study focuses on a unique deliberative process organized in order to establish a Charter of Human Rights for Seoul Citizens. Several lessons from this democratic experiment are discussed. While the process worked surprisingly well, its legitimacy was questioned because of controversies over the representativeness of participants and the involvement of external stakeholders. Although a complete consensus was not reached, initially disrespectful attitudes changed within the process to a situation where diverging positions were better acknowledged. How ideas of deliberation can be implemented in real-world public policy-making is discussed based on these findings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Swedish Research Council (2010-2306 and 2014-811), the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (KO2014-5828) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015K2A3A1000202).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations