John Uhr

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John Uhr "is a professor of political science in the ANU's Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government (APSEG) where he teaches graduate courses on 'Ethics and Public Policy' and 'Policy Advocacy'. He also teaches an honours unit in political science ('The morality of international action') in the ANU's Faculty of Arts. John is a graduate of the PhD program in political science at University of Toronto. He is the author of Deliberative Democracy in Australia: the changing place of parliament (CUP 1998); and Terms of Trust: arguments over ethics in Australian government (UNSW Press 2005).

"Uhr's research interests in deliberative democracy relate primarily to the potential of core constitutional institutions in regimes of representative democracy to act as mediums of deliberative democracy. Recent research has investigated options to strengthen the capacities of parliamentary institutions and associated core institutions of representative government (eg, elections; referendums; political argument and policy advocacy in the policy process) to function as sites for effective public deliberation. Current research deals with the routines of parliamentary opposition; and the rhetoric of public leadership.

"Contemporary democracy confers great power on a set of core constitutional officers serving as representatives of the community: including leading representatives of the three branches of government, namely members of parliament; government ministers and senior public servants; judicial office-holders. The constitutional design of democratic governance privileges this limited set of public decision-makers. To what extent are the deliberative capacities of these power-holders consistent with democratic theories of public deliberation? The answer varies according to the particulars of political regimes. The following references identify some of John Uhr's research publications dealing with these questions, usually blending political theory and empirical analysis, frequently using Australian evidence to highlight more general trends in democratic practices." [1]

"CDI was represented at a recent World Bank workshop on 'Parliamentary Standards', referring to standards of good performance appropriate to effective parliaments. Dr John Uhr of the Political Science Program in the ANU's Research School of Social Sciences represented CDI at this important invitation-only meeting on 13-14 December 2004 in Washington, held to review international lessons about what works and what does not work in institutional strengthening programs devised for parliaments." [2]

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  1. John Uhr, Deliberative Democracy, accessed September 22, 2007.
  2. World Bank Conference on Parliamentary Standards, ANU, accessed September 22, 2007.