Bayerischer Forschungsverbund “Zukunft der Demokratie” (ForDemocracy)

Project 07
Deliberative democracy at the workplace:
the potential of “Mini-Publics”


The project explores the potential of democratic participation at the workplace and how these practices can strengthen democracy. By applying philosophical and empirical methods, the project focuses on deliberative participation and analyses how digital technologies can support it.

Project Description

In times of dwindling support for democracy we need to re-think our democratic values and practices. Therefore, the project explores whether democracy could be strengthened by relying on democratic practices not only in the sphere of politics but also in the economic sphere. The workplace is a social space that significantly contributes to the integration of society by bringing together people from all walks of life.

The project will make use of a combination of philosophical and empirical methods to develop new forms of democratic participation at the workplace. The ongoing digital transformation of our working environments creates possibilities for using digital communication technologies to support participatory decision-making and the realization of democratic values. In particular, deliberative mini publics – assemblies that allow, on an equal footing, for discussions among participants and emphasize the reasonable exchange of arguments in the democratic decision-making process – seem to hold great potential in this regard. Based on findings about deliberation at the workplace, the project will develop recommendations for companies that will be summarized in a manual for practitioners.

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Projekt 07 Prof. Dr. Lisa Herzog, Alexander Krüger

Lisa Herzog (left)
Alexander Krüger (right) 
Wilhelm Hofmann (not in the picture)