Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar
Diversity in political regimes and cultures across the region of Australasia demand a nuanced understanding of democratic innovation. In this chapter, we highlight prominent democratic innovations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Small Island Developing States. Whilst Australia has seen a proliferation of mini-publics commissioned by state and local governments, New Zealand has taken action at the national level in terms of representative innovation. In the Pacific region, it is civil society organisations that take the lead enhancing democracy, in the absence of well-functioning democratic institutions. This varied experience demonstrates that democratic innovation can and does occur at all levels of, and outside of, government institutions. We argue that this also presents a valuable opportunity for democratic learning across this region, with each example discussed here offering an important contribution to the practice of democratic innovation.
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