Green Politics Beyond the State: Radicalizing the Democratic Potentials of Climate Citizens’ Assemblies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Full Text

    Final published version, 6.72 MB, PDF document

In recent years, countries like France, UK, Germany, and Denmark have all carried out climate citizens’ assemblies where a group of representatively selected citizens come together to discuss issues around climate politics and provide policy recommendations to decision-makers. The hope is that these deliberative-democratic innovations can circumvent the flaws of representational politics and help break the existing gridlock around climate politics. In this article, relying on the case of the Danish climate citizens’ assembly that began its work in 2020, we argue that to truly realize the democratic potentials of climate citizens’ assemblies, there is a need to think about how citizens’ assemblies might come to multiply and proliferate in political spaces away from, or at least in addition to, those in and around the state, so they can become local drivers of democratic action and community empowerment. The argument is not that citizens’ assemblies should give up on affecting the state and parliamentary politics altogether, but that we must be careful not to put too much faith in state institutions, and also look for spaces outside the state where the conditions for transformative change and democratic capacity-building currently appear more fecund. Drawing together these arguments, we offer what we call a more radical vision of the democratic potentials of climate citizens’ assemblies, and provide some guidelines for what that would look like in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalClimatic Change
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Climate governance, Citizens' assemblies, Deliberative democracy, Democratic innovation, Mini-publics

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 326464990