Essay Review: Second Thoughts on the First Citizens Assemblies


  • Richard D. French


When two of the most distinguished university presses in the world publish books on the same political events in Canada, one can be sure that something somewhat out of the ordinary has occurred. The two books under review focus on essentially the same subject, save that the later book has the advantage of more evidence - three rather than one citizen assembly – and it shows. This review will focus uniquely on the two Canadian assemblies, however. The Dutch case, while interesting, tells us more about the dynamics of Dutch politics than it adds to the understanding of citizen assemblies which emerges from the Canadian evidence.

The issues in question arrive at the confluence of two important discussions on the renewal of democracy in the anglosphere – the potential of deliberative democracy to complement electoral democracy and the reform of electoral systems. Let us consider them in that order.

Author Biography

Richard D. French

Richard D. French is CN-Tellier Professor of Business and Public Policy, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, Canada.


How to Cite

French, R. D. (2014). Essay Review: Second Thoughts on the First Citizens Assemblies. International Public Management Review, 13(1), 61–76. Retrieved from



Essay Reviews