Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains extremely difficult. This webinar focuses on how public engagement can assist in the development of just processes and outcomes in adaptation discourse and policymaking. It explores the foundations of adaptation policy and viewpoints from local government, environmental groups, and local residents engaged in adaptation planning in Australia.
Simon Niemeyer is an Associate Professor and co-founder of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. His research ties together the themes of political behaviour, the public sphere and observations from deliberative minipublics, such as Citizens’ Juries, to develop insights into potential interventions and institutional settings that improve deliberation and governance.
His research covers the broad fields of deliberative democracy and environmental governance, particularly in respect to climate change. His research has involved developing fit-for-purpose methodologies for investigating public deliberation and deliberative transformation of public opinion. This research has contributed to an improved understanding of the forces that shape public opinion and how this can be improved so that public better articulates their collective long-term interests. The research also informs ways in which group deliberation can be improved via the design of deliberative minipublics, as well as the implications for institutional design more broadly.
Simon completed his PhD at the Australian National University and since then has been the recipient of a number of Australian Research Council Awards, including an earlier iteration of what has become the DECRA award and an ARC Future Fellowship. He has been lead investigator on three large ARC projects concerning the possibilities for achieving mass public deliberation; a co-investigator on several other ARC project on deliberative democracy, including achieving just outcomes when adapting to climate change (with David Schlosberg), and a co-investigator on a large Swedish Research Council project (with Julia Jennstål) concerning the nature of the deliberative person.
Until recently he was co-located between the University of Uppsala and the University of Canberra where he has developed international links for the next phase of research in assessing deliberativeness of national political settings.
His current ARC Discovery project (A Metastudy of Deliberative Democracy) is focussed on clearing up conceptual and methodological issues in the field, in conjunction with John Dryzek, Nicole Curato and a number of important international scholars in the field. This will ultimately lead to a much larger research effort dealing with methods for assessing deliberativeness of large scale democratic systems as part of an international comparative study.