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About the Centre for Deliberation

The Centre for Deliberation was established at the end of 2010. It is an interdisciplinary research entity which activity focus on the urgent practical issues of communication in democracy and democratic communication.
The Centre for Deliberation aims at:

  1. generating and accumulating knowledge on the standards and new approaches to communication in democracy and democratic communication,
  2. research in the area framed in point 1),
  3. advising on institutional arrangements and strategies as well as designing and testing tools to enhance deliberative democracy in practice,
  4. disseminating information on the results of its activities in Poland and internationally.

In the CD scientists specializing in sociology, psychology, media and communication studies, political sciences, law as well as informatics are engaged in team projects. These projects involve analysis and proactive approach at macro and micro levels. They address systemic solutions, including legal and institutional provisions for good government based on open and transparent communication. They also focus on methods and techniques of deliberative public opinion formation. Promoting good practices in public consultations and other methods of seeking informed political participation of citizens is our prime interest. The prominent place in the projects is taken by traditional and new means of communication. We are (re)considering the role of public and community media and investigate how the internet media can enhance effective and efficient decision making process on issues of public importance.

In the CD we promote methodological diversity in research. The institutional and legal analysis, quantitative and qualitative studies, discourse analysis as well as action research are practiced in the projects. The comparative international studies will also have its prominent place. The analyses and diagnoses conclude with recommendations, and the evaluation follows all applied research projects. The CD organises seminars and workshops for students as well as representatives of public administration, journalists and social organizations.

The Scientific Board of the Centre for Deliberation at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw is represented by:

  • Prof. Janusz Adamowski – Dean of Department of Journalism and Political Sciences, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Kees Brants – Professor in media and communication Studies, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Stephen Coleman – Director of the Centre for Digital Citizenship, University of Leeds
  • Prof. James Fishkin – Chair of Department of Communication and Director of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University
  • Prof. Kazimierz Frieske – in charge of the Public Policy Division at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Hubert Izdebski – Director of the Institute of Theory of State and Law at the Department of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Anna Giza-Poleszczuk – Vice Dean of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Warsaw
  • Karol Jakubowicz, PhD – an expert in media and communication
  • Prof. Hanspeter Kriesi – Director of the National Centre of Competence in Research – Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century, University of Zurich
  • Prof. Mirosława Marody – in charge of the Social Psychology Division at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Paweł Śpiewak – in charge of the History of Social Thought Division at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Jerzy Tyszkiewicz – the Institute of Informatics, University of Warsaw

The programme manager of the Centre for Deliberation is Anna Przybylska, Ph.D.

“In Dialogue” Project

The project “New perspectives for dialogue. The model of deliberation and ICT tools in decision-making processes” is a joint effort of the Centre for Deliberation, Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw (the project leader), the Warsaw University of Technology, the Association of Polish Cities, the Polish Forum of Disabled Persons, the Foundation of Free and Open Software, the IT training company MIT and other, associated social partners. The project will be held in the years 2014-2017.

The aim of the project is to develop – in cooperation with social partners – a model of social dialogue with inhabitants and an ICT platform for public consultations to be implemented by local governments. The importance of the issue has become more apparent due to the growing demands to extend the social involvement in the decision making processes and to make participation more accessible to all inhabitants. The project acknowledges the challenges as regards the methods and planning of public consultation by local governments, and proposes the education through practice. The ICT platform for public consultations, tools and procedures will guide the institutional users thorough the consultation preparation, implementation and outcomes reporting. The consultations will include the dialogue based on carefully prepared information materials. The communication process is supposed to be at the same time inclusive and task oriented. In the project we will be particularly sensitive to the usability of the platform for the persons with physical disabilities.
The project is financed by the National Centre for Research and Development in Poland within the Social Innovation Programme.

Research

  1. “The online Deliberative Poll on the quality of studying at the University of Warsaw”
  2. An ongoing research seminar for students of the Institute of Sociology, UW – the second semester and applied research in co-operation with the Centre for Deliberative democracy, Stanford University.
    The public consultations conducted with the use of the DP® method, will involve both students and the faculty. All students will be invited to fill in an online questionnaire. App. 150 students will participate in the online group discussions. The project is supported by the Rector of the University of Warsaw.

    Project to be completed in March 2012.

  3. “Public consultations in our city”
    • first step: online poll N=300; a simple index of the quality of public consultations is proposed to serve educational purposes (completed),
    • second step: online group debates N=100; app. 8 groups (ongoing),
    • third step: planning and implementation of public consultations; social intervention approach (ongoing case study in Czestochowa, some other planned);
  4. Project to be completed in September 2012.

  5. “Not only voting: public consultations across Europe”
    Case studies on the legal and institutional framework for public consultations abroad based on documents analysis and in-depth interviews with researchers and public authorities.

    • France (completed),
    • Denmark (completed),
    • Russia (scheduled for 02.2012)

    Some more case studies will be included: Estonia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    Project to be completed in September 2012.

Education and Public Debate

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“Civic competences: how effectively participate in public consultations”
8 modules e-learning course for inhabitants of Kraków ordered by the City Council.
The CD is developing the course to offer it to other cities in Poland.
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“The legal and institutional framework for public consultations in Poland” – 29.06.2011 r.
In our discussion we addressed the effectiveness of institutional forms of civic participation in political decision making in Poland after 1989. We attempted to evaluate the legal provisions for public engagement and their impact on political practice. In the light of a new law proposal bringing in more regulation, among others, regarding public consultations, we considered the best incentives (top down vs. bottom up) for the high quality public involvement in politics, particularly at the local government level.

Panelists:
Radosław Gawlik (ngo, politician) Piotr Gliński (sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences) Hubert Izdebski (law, University of Warsaw) Jacek Sroka (political sciences, the University of Wroclaw) Kuba Wygnański (ngo)
Hosts:
Paweł Poławski and Anna Przybylska (social sciences, University of Warsaw)

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Public consultations in our city: the national quality monitoring” – 26.10.2011 r.
A discussion focused on the quality of preparation and implementation of public consultations in Poland. The Centre for Deliberation presented the results of its country wide survey research. The invited guests who used the evaluation criteria prepared by the CD, demonstrated the outcomes of their in-depth studies from selected Polish cities. In the following debate we posed a question about measures that may strengthen openness, transparency and purposefulness of public consultations. The opinions were voiced by the representatives of academia, ngos and public administration.

Panelists:
Henryk Banaszak, Anna Giza-Poleszczuk, Anna Przybylska (social sciences, University of Warsaw) Krzysztof Rosenkiewicz (political sciences, University of Poznan) Ewa Cofur, Marlena Musiałek, Karolina Walkiewicz (ngo-s from Katowice, Poznan and Warsaw) Agata Wierny (the City Council of Czestochowa)

Seminars for students in Winter semester 2011/2012:

  • Among us – the citizens: on the debate in public consultations
  • The online Deliberative Poll on the quality of studying at the University of Warsaw (research seminar)
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