Improving Public Debate and Political Decision-Making: The Last Democracy Conference before Brexit?

March 28, 2019 - March 29, 2019

19 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3HH
United Kingdom


  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

All speakers:

Oxford University
Columbia University
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology
London School of Economics
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
University of Amsterdam
London School of Economics
London School of Economics
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


University of London
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

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In view of recent global developments, the question of the desired relation between democracy, deliberation, and truth looms large. The conference aims to bring together scholars from various fields who seek to provide concrete answers to this question. It is scheduled to coincide with the official Brexit date, namely March 29th, 2019. Regardless of whether Brexit goes ahead, and indeed of whether one thinks it is a positive or negative development, it is fair to say that there are question marks about both the public debate and the political decision-making surrounding it. Among other things, the conference offers an opportunity to reflect on these and other momentous issues and challenges that face democracy in modern times.

Speakers and Provisional Programme:

Thursday, March 28th

11:00 – 11:15 Welcome Note: Anthony Grayling (Master, NCH)

11:15 – 12:15 Laura Valentini (Government, LSE): ‘On the Responsibilities of a Democratic Audience’

12:15 – 13:15 Christian List (Philosophy, LSE): ‘The Will of the People’

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch Break

14:15 – 15:15 Clemens Puppe (Economics, KIT): ‘Impact and Participation in Voting’

15:15 – 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:30 Ioannis Votsis (Philosophy, NCH): ‘Informed Voting’

16:30 – 16:45 Coffee Break

16:45 – 17:45 Ulrike Hahn (Psychology, Birkbeck): ‘Why does rational argument matter?’

Friday, March 29th

10:00 – 11:00 Hélène Landemore (Political Science, Yale): ‘Rethinking deliberation in the wild’

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:15 David Lanius (Philosophy, KIT): ‘Fake News and Public Debate’

12:15 – 13:15 Brian Ball (Philosophy, NCH): ‘Defeating Fake News’

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch Break

14:15 – 15:15 Kai Spiekermann (Government, LSE) ‘The Network and the Forum: Democratic Theory for a Digital World’

15:15 – 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:30 Enzo Rossi (Political Science, Amsterdam): ‘Democratic Legitimacy for Realists’

16:30 – 16:45 Coffee Break

16:45 – 17:45 Philip Kitcher (Philosophy, Columbia): ‘Can Democracy be Resurrected?’

17:45 – 18:15 Synopsis and Panel Discussion: Chaired by David Mitchell (Philosophy, NCH)

Attendance is open to all but spaces are limited so interested individuals are requested to register (and early so) by sending an e-mail to:

Funding for the conference is generously provided by the New College of the Humanities as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

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March 21, 2019, 9:00am BST

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Yannis Vatopoulos

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