The challenges of facilitation: The role of facilitators in the enactment of deliberative democracy in the World Wide View Project

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The aim of the paper is to investigate the role of the facilitators in the enactment of the principles of deliberative democracy and how they are carried out in practice. More specifically, the focus is on how the facilitators‟ balances between the intention of opening up for a plurality of voices and at the same time make closures in order to secure progress in the process?
The analysis draws upon theoretical perspectives on deliberative democracy and facilitation. Whereas, the scholarly literature on deliberative democracy is rich in describing potential outcomes and criteria for deliberative processes little is known about the role of facilitators and on how they can play a decisive role in securing the expected merits of deliberative democracy. This paper offers a unique look on the fine grain acts of facilitation in a micro-deliberative setting.
The empirical part of the paper is a study of the first ever attempt in the world to create a global voice for citizens. The experiment, World Wide Views (WWV) on Global Warming, was a global encompassing deliberation day that took place the 26 September 2009, in 38 countries and it involved roughly 4000 citizens. The WWV method is based on the principles on deliberative democracy and provided the participants with a balanced and scientifically information as well as an opportunity to deliberate before they made their judgements. The empirical foundation of the article is based on the Danish part of the event and builds on observation studies, 3X 8 hours transcriptions of three table deliberations; questionnaires of 91 participants, 2 focus group interviews with participants and facilitators.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Jul 2012
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2012
EventIntepretive Policy Analysis (IPA): Understanding the Drama of Democracy. Policy Work, Power and Transformation. - Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration, Tilburg, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jul 20127 Jul 2012


ConferenceIntepretive Policy Analysis (IPA)
LocationTilburg School of Politics and Public Administration
Internet address

Cite this