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We require intensive efforts to rebuild faith in democracy. An increasingly talked about idea is citizen assemblies or Citizen Juries that bring together everyday people chosen by lottery to discuss, learn about, and make recommendations upon political questions.

These Citizen Assemblies are based on the old Athenian idea of choosing representatives in a democracy by lottery  rather than by election. Around the world, such Citizen juries are being used to foster greater involvement of citizens in policy making which complement representative and direct democracy. These deliberative institutions are not mere focus groups. By bringing non-expert citizens into political institutions, Citizen Juries both breathe energy into representative democracy and nurture virtue amongst citizens. It is one way to address the deficit of democratic participation that plagues modern democracy. Dr Berkowitz will lead a discussion about Citizen Juries and how they can reinvigorate democracy


Roger Berkowitz is founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center and Associate Professor of Politics, Human Rights, and Philosophy at Bard College. Berkowitz writes and speaks about how justice is made present in the world. He is author of The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition, co-editor of Artifacts of Thinking: Reading Hannah Arendt’s Denktagebuch (2017), Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics (2010), The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis (2012), and editor of the annual journal HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center

Professor Berkowitz edits the Hannah Arendt Center’s weekly newsletter, Amor Mundi. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bookforum, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Paris Review Online, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, The American Interest, and many other publications. Berkowitz is the 2019 recipient of the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought given by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Bremen, Germany.


Topic: Democratic Revival and Using Lottery in Citizen Juries
Date: Apr 18, 2020,
Time: 4:00 PM

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