Scientific Support

Dariusz Sankowski

The aim of a Citizens' Assembly was to arrive at a result based on balanced information and after intensive deliberation, which ultimately can be supported by all participants drawn by lot. At the end of the Citizens' Assembly, the proposals of those drawn should come as close as possible to a "common position of a cross-section of the population". Therefore, it was important that the information the participants received was as comprehensive, balanced, non-partisan, diverse and reliable as possible. Not only individual positions on a topic - e.g. foreign policy -, but as many relevant positions as possible were represented. This was taken into account when addressing the advisors and supporters in both the Support Committee and the Advisory Team.

1. Support Panel

The Citizens' Assembly was supported by a group of renowned experts representing different viewpoints and disciplines related to the topic of "Germany's role in the world". As far as possible, it was important to the initiators and implementing institutions of the Citizens' Assembly that this group be composed of very diverse people. The members were experts in their field or, due to their activities, provided a particularly diverse view of Germany's role in the world.

The members of the panel...

  • advise the implementing institutions in order to ensure the quality of the procedure in terms of subject matter and content
  • are available to answer specific questions as needed
  • suggest further experts if necessary
  • act as experts in the Citizens' Assembly, e.g. give impulse lectures on the topics to be discussed
  • communicate the contents and results of the Citizens' Assembly to the public and politics.

Overview of the Support Panel

2. Advisory Team: planning and scientific support of the entire Citizens' Assembly process

In order to narrow down and summarise the comprehensive topic of "Germany's role in the world", the initiators and implementing institutes decided to seek advice from proven and recognised experts in the field of foreign policy from the very beginning. For the Federal Foreign Office, Sarah Brockmeier and Dr. Cornelius Adebahr conducted the study "Strengthening Citizens' Dialogue on Foreign Policy". They thus belonged to the circle of those who were able to provide a comprehensive overview of issues, contexts and special features of foreign policy and had at the same time dealt with citizen participation in this field.

The advisory team...

  • accompanied and supported the preparatory phase (1st phase)
  • developed an "issue map" to provide an overview of the issues to be discussed
  • supported the development and evaluation of the questionnaire for politics and civil society
  • accompanied the setting of topics and their evaluation in the discussion rounds
  • assisted in setting and evaluating topics at the workshop with politicians and citizens
  • supported the narrowing down of topics for the Citizens' Assembly (2nd phase)
  • accompanied the Citizens' Assembly during the online sessions and provides short-term advice on content-related questions that arise
  • supported the formulation of the citizens' report