Democratic participation – a broken promise?

Workshop on political inequality and democratic innovations

March 13-17, 2017 | Villa Vigoni (near Milan), Italy

Democratic participation –

a broken promise?


Workshop on political inequality and democratic innovations
Villa Vigoni (near Milan), Italy
March 13–17, 2017

Coordinators: Nancy Bermeo, Claudia Landwehr, Armin Schäfer


Part 1: From Unequal Participation to Unequal Influence?


Tuesday, March 14


14:00 Welcome and Introduction: Claudia Landwehr & Armin Schäfer


14:30 – 16:30

Panel I: A Broken Promise? The Theory and Reality of Political Equality

Panel chair: Nancy Bermeo


Regina Kreide

The Descent of Political Equality

Larry Bartels

Political Inequality in Affluent Democracies

Peter Niesen

Beyond Equality? A Challenge from Interspecies Democracy


16:30 – 17:00 Coffee break


17:00 – 19:00

Panel II: Unequal Participation – electoral and non-electoral

Panel chair: Thomas Saalfeld


Cathy Cohen

Participatory Politics and Equality in the Digital Age

Hanna Schwander

Inequality and Voter Turnout


20:00 Dinner


Wednesday, March 15


10:00 – 12:00

Panel III: Unequal Representation?

Panel chair: Ron Kassimir


Andrea Campbell

Civic Feedbacks

Dara Z. Strolovitch

Advocacy in Hard Times: Widening Inequalities and Intersectional Representation for Marginalized Groups

Armin Schäfer

Government of the people, by the elite, for the rich. Unequal responsiveness in an unlikely case



12:00 – 13:30 Lunch break


13:30 – 15:00

Panel IV: Inequality and Polarization

Panel chair: Claudia Landwehr


Sigrid Rossteutscher

Polarization and (unequal) turnout – a comparative perspective

Jan-Werner Müller

On Populism and Polarization


15:00 – 16:00 Coffee break


Part 2: Democratic Aspirations and Innovations


16:00 – 18:00

Panel I: What democracy do we want? Normative conceptions of democracy in democratic theory and public opinion

Panel chair: Nancy Bermeo


Lisa Disch

Realists for Democracy

Claudia Landwehr

Where democrats disagree: citizens’ normative conceptions of democracy

Michael Neblo

Directly Representative Democracy


20:00 Dinner



Thursday, March 16


9:00 – 11:00

Panel II: Potentials of Democratic Innovations, Part 1: deliberative innovations

Panel chair: Armin Schäfer


Katharina Holzinger / Valentin Gold

Personality Traits and Debate Quality

Christopher Karpovitz

Can Enclaves Remediate Social Inequality?


11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break


11:30 – 13:30

Panel III: Potentials of Democratic Innovations, Part 2: electoral innovations and direct democracy

Panel chair: Thomas Saalfeld


Steffen Ganghof

Political equality and democratic design: The case for “semi-parliamentarism”

Brigitte Geißel

Direct Democracy and Economic Inequality in the World

Alan Renwick

Can We Improve Discourse in Referendum Campaigns?


13:30 – 14:30 Lunch


14:30 – 16:30

Panel IV: Who wants democratic innovations? Preferences over democratic decision-making procedures

Panel chair: Claudia Landwehr


Elisabeth Clemens

In Search of Traction: Diverging Political Trajectories in the Era of Late Liberalism

Katherine J. Cramer

The Competence of Others: How Our Perceptions of Others’ Civic Abilities Inhibits Democratic Innovation

Asa von Schoulz


16:30 Coffee break


17:00 Conclusions: Nancy Bermeo


17:30 – 18:30 SSRC Working Group Meeting


19:00 Dinner


Villa Vigoni Association
1 Via Giulio Vigoni
22017 Menaggio (CO)

+39 (0) 344 361 11