Solving 'Wicked Problems' with Deliberative Democracy



Deliberative democracy
ABC Radio National, Ockham's Razor


The author argues, in this podcast on ABC Radio National, it can be political suicide for leaders to take on the world's intractable problems, because politics is driven by short-term interests and election cycles. On the other hand, wicked problems – such as climate change – can take generations to surface and require drastic long-term measures to solve them.

Carson argues that if Australia's federal government is finding it difficult to make hard decisions required to address wicked problems, like climate change, it should share this decision making with the people through the process of deliberative democracy.

She suggests that governments could tap into the wealth of expertise that exists in the wider community through citizen assemblies or policy juries.

Citizens are capable of being responsible for resolving intractable problems, Carson says, and we should renew our faith in our combined ability as a community to tackle large scale issues.


Thumbnail image: Marc Wathieu/Flickr

Lyn Carson

New Democracy Foundation

Published Date
June 5, 2011