David Matthew Farrell

David Matthew Farrell
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Politics & International Relations

PhD

About

138
Publications
41,771
Reads
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4,772
Citations
Citations since 2016
41 Research Items
2512 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - present
University College Dublin
Position
  • Chair of Politics
January 1991 - June 2009
The University of Manchester
Position
  • Head of Faculty

Publications

Publications (138)
Article
Full-text available
There is perennial debate in comparative politics about electoral institutions, but what characterizes this debate is the lack of consideration for citizens' perspective. In this paper, we report the results of an original survey conducted on representative samples in 15 West European countries (N = 15,414). We implemented an original instrument to...
Article
Full-text available
In recent times we have seen a spate of climate assemblies across Europe as the climate emergency gains increasing prominence in the political agenda and as the citizens’ assembly approach to public engagement gains popularity. However, there has been little empirical research on how the scope of citizens’ assemblies affects the internal logic of t...
Article
This research note has two functions. It first sets the scene for this special issue using the 2020 Irish National Election Study (INES), which comprises several discrete data sets. The note also reports on findings from one part of the INES – an online poll of voters of polling day, which included a battery of questions related to attitudes and be...
Article
Ireland has enjoyed continuous democratic government for almost a century, an unusual experience among countries that gained their independence in the twentieth century. But the way this works has changed dramatically over time. Ireland’s colonial past has had an enduring influence over political life, enabling stable institutions of democratic acc...
Book
Deliberative mini-publics (DMPs) are gaining popularity as a way to engage ordinary citizens in policymaking. From climate assemblies to online citizen panels on Covid19, these initiatives raise questions about effective approaches to democratic reform as well as the future of democracy itself. Bringing together ten leading scholars in the field of...
Chapter
This chapter describes the outputs of DMPs: both the conclusions that mini-publics reach and the ways in which these are presented to wider audiences. It also investigates how these outputs are developed and how much meaning should be attached to them. There are substantial variations across DMPs on these matters. Nevertheless, all mini-publics pre...
Chapter
Citizens are often accused of being disinterested and incapable of taking part in politics. This chapter demonstrates how deliberative mini-publics (DMPs) can be designed to address this issue, in a manner that conforms to norms of deliberative democracy. DMPs are, by design, venues that should facilitate balanced and critical deliberation among pa...
Chapter
This chapter uses real-world examples to show how DMPs can be integrated into the wider democratic system, supplementing and reinforcing institutions of representative democracy and beyond, thus presenting the conceptual, actual and potential role of DMPs. The relationship of DMPs to the key arenas and practices of will formation and decision makin...
Chapter
Deliberative mini-publics do not a deliberative democracy make. Yet the surge of deliberative mini-publics around the world is a reminder of the growing appetite for finding ways to do democracy differently. Even if DMPs cannot alone cure all of democracy’s ills, they have proved themselves able to make a major contribution. This chapter provides a...
Chapter
This chapter examines the bases of deliberative mini-publics’ (DMPs) internal and external legitimacy and discusses how their outputs can influence collective decision-making. It addresses some of the most contentious issues in the field of democratic innovations today including: To what extent should deliberative mini-publics shape decision-making...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on core design features concerned with the ‘deliberative experience.’ It starts by identifying the guiding principles in design – inclusiveness, equality in participation and integrity – and then discusses core design features relating to the deliberative experience. DMPs are dynamic processes. Flexibility and appropriateness o...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the procedure of selecting participants to DMPs. It underlines the importance of a representative sample in order to guarantee diversity of opinions and participants. In comparison with other possible methods – election through voting, a corporatist system where the participants are appointed by civil society organisations an...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the principal core design features of Deliberative Mini-Publics (DMPs): their composition; the format of their deliberations; the topics they discuss; and their outputs. Drawing mostly on the POLITICIZE inventory of DMPs organized by national and regional public authorities across Europe since 2000, this chapter argues that...
Article
Full-text available
This paper compares the debate quality in the plenary sessions of an Irish Citizens’ Assembly and an Irish parliamentary committee to assess the epistemic effects of public deliberation on a contentious subject: abortion. The unusual occurrence of a similar process of detailed discussion on the same topic in different institutions at around the sam...
Article
Ireland’s Convention on the Constitution (2012–2014) was a world-first process in mixing randomly selected private citizens and political representatives in a deliberative mini-public that made recommendations on a wide range of constitutional issues. Acknowledging the gender gap identified in studies of deliberative forums, the Convention made spe...
Article
This paper tests the possibility of embedding the benefits of minipublic deliberation within a wider voting public. We test whether a statement such as those derived from a Citizens’Initiative Review (CIR) can influence voters who did not participate in the pre-referendum minipublic deliberation. This experiment was implemented in advance of the 2018...
Article
Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly (CA) of 2016–18 was tasked with making recommendations on abortion. This paper shows that from the outset its members were in large part in favour of the liberalisation of abortion (though a fair proportion were undecided), that over the course of its deliberations the CA as a whole moved in a more liberal direction on...
Article
The outcomes of two recent Irish referendums - on marriage equality in 2015 and abortion in 2018 - have placed contemporary Irish voters in sharp contrast with their long-standing conservative Catholic reputation. These referendums also stand out internationally because of an associated deliberative innovation. This paper aims to explain the waters...
Article
Full-text available
The Constitutional Convention was established by the Irish government in 2012. It was tasked with making recommendations on a number of constitutional reform proposals. As a mini-public, its membership was a mix of 66 citizens (randomly selected) and 33 politicians (self-selected). Its recommendations were debated on the floor of the Irish parliame...
Article
Cet article analyse le fonctionnement de la première Convention constitutionnelle irlandaise qui s’est tenue en 2013. On avait argumenté que recourir à une approche délibérative pour réformer la Constitution serait utile afin d’impliquer les citoyens dans les décisions tout en renforçant une légitimité démocratique affaiblie et en reconfigurant pot...
Article
Deliberative democracy is for many the most significant development in democratic theory in the last 50 years and it has been used in some places to solve real-world policy problems. However, measuring the impact of deliberative methods is not clearly achievable because several independent variables are manipulated simultaneously. One of the main g...
Article
Full-text available
Ireland has become something of a trail-blazer in the use of deliberative methods in the process of constitutional review. It is the first case in which the process has been employed a second time: the Irish Citizens’ Assembly (2016–18) followed upon the Convention on the Constitution (2012–14). The creation of two mini-publics in quick succession...
Chapter
This chapter sets the scene for the chapters that follow. We start by presenting a short background to the 2016 Irish general election – the most dramatic election in modern times and the first since Ireland’s emergence from the Great Recession. The chapter starts by describing the features of the 2016 Irish National Election Study (INES), a unique...
Article
This is the definitive study of the Irish general election of 2016 – the most dramatic election in a generation, which among other things resulted in the worst electoral outcome for Ireland’s established parties, the most fractionalized party system in the history of the state, and the emergence of new parties and groups, some of these of a ‘populi...
Chapter
This chapter describes how the election outcome marks an historic low in the fortunes of the traditional parties as the system has become very fragmented as all the traditional parties have recorded support close to or at low points in a historical context. The system is becoming ‘de-institutionalised’. The chapter goes on to consider the significa...
Article
Full-text available
On 22 May 2015 the marriage referendum proposal was passed by a large majority of Irish voters and the definition of marriage in the constitution was broadened to introduce marriage equality. This referendum is remarkable for a number of reasons: (1) it is uniquely based on an experiment in deliberative democracy; (2) the referendum campaign was un...
Article
In the 2011 Irish general election, held in the midst of the economic crisis, electoral reform was catapulted to the top of the agenda, with all of the political parties including proposals for electoral reform in their manifestos. The matter was subsequently given to the Irish Constitutional Convention to discuss. The Convention recommended keepin...
Article
Full-text available
Many claims have been made for the impact of deliberative democracy in generating change in people’s opinions, and often in predictable ways. It is claimed that people involved in deliberation change their minds on important issues. We also know that political participation and attitudes towards certain issues depend on political knowledge and civi...
Article
Full-text available
For an electoral system that is so rarely used, the Single Transferable Vote is prone to considerable variation both in its mechanics and in how parties and voters operate strategically under it. The objective of this article is to examine how such variations can affect the proportionality of electoral outcomes. Our findings indicate that they can...
Article
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In his later writings Peter Mair expressed strong and ever more urgent concerns over the state of party politics and the future of representative politics itself. This paper uses Mair’s thesis to frame a discussion about the state of our representative system of democracy. It starts by setting out his arguments on party and democratic failure. It t...
Article
This paper explores the effectiveness of European Parliament candidates' campaigns. We analyze the relationship between candidates' spending and their likelihood of success, controlling for a range of relevant co-varying factors. We then investigate whether the effects of electoral spending are conditioned by two variables: ballot design and incumb...
Article
Full-text available
The research reported here sets out in some detail an experiment in deliberative democracy that took place in Ireland in 2011. The We the Citizens initiative featured a nationwide pilot citizens' assembly, the first of its kind in Ireland. It recruited a random selection of Irish residents to deliberate on specific issues relating to the economy an...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this book, a group of leading scholars analyzes the functioning of modern democracies by focusing on two basic principles: political representation and policy congruence. Drawing on recent survey data from a variety of national and international research projects, they demonstrate how political representation works and mostly leads to a fair deg...
Article
In this paper, we seek to make two distinct contributions to knowledge about the EP. First, we introduce a significant new source of data about the parliament: provisional results from a new survey conducted of the parliament’s membership. We explain the overall purpose of the survey, its content, and how the survey instrument was implemented via t...
Article
How does democratic representation work? The linkage between the public and the political decision makers is one of the essential topics for the study of democratic political systems. Most research views elections and political representation as a discrete decision-making process. This paper suggests that democratic representation is a continuing,...
Article
This article develops and tests a number of competing expectations (institutional, party and individual) about what influenced the campaign activity of individual parliamentary candidates for the 2004 European Parliament elections. The principal interest is in the effects of variations in the design of electoral institutions across the Member State...
Article
Full-text available
The linkage between the public and the political decision makers is one of the essential topics for the study of democratic political systems. Most of the previous literature views elections and political representation as a discrete decision-making process. This paper suggests that rather than a discrete, point-in-time choice, democracy is based o...
Chapter
It has become the norm in parliamentary democracies for political parties to publish manifestos (or ‘programmes’) setting out their policy priorities for the period following the election. The common definition of a manifesto is that it represents the policy package a party puts to the voters at election time. There is something of a feedback loop...
Article
Full-text available
The sine qua non of representative democracies is a process of elections that is fair and competitive. This is the role of electoral institutions, which determine how elections are fought, how the act of voting results in the election of political representatives and the determination of which political leader (in a presidential system), or party o...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we explore the potential for electoral systems to influence the attitudes and behaviour of elected representatives. Focusing on what we term 'geographical representation', or representation on the ground, we consider how variation in electoral systems may be expected to relate to different forms of, and priorities in, political repr...
Article
Reuven Y. Hazan and Moshe Maor (eds). London: Frank Cass, 2000. 216 pp., tables, index, pbk, ISBN 0 7146 5076 5
Article
The past 15 years have seen declining public support for European integration, and widespread suggestions that a legitimacy crisis faces the European Union (EU). Many in the EU have believed that this problem could be effectively tackled by vesting greater powers in the European Parliament (EP), the Union's only directly-elected institution. The ce...
Article
Although championed by advocates of proportional representation, the single transferable vote form of PR has been used consistently in only a small number of countries - principally Australia, Ireland and Malta. This paper examines the origins and development of STV and its implications for the political systems that use it. The results show that S...