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Launch Event held for the Mini-Public Deliberation on Constitutional Futures, 23rd September 2021


On the 23rd of September 2021 the Institute for British-Irish Studies in collaboration with the Democracy Unit, Queen's University Belfast held an online launch event at which researchers shared the findings of the Mini-Public Deliberative Forum on Constitutional Futures organised by the Constitutional Futures after Brexit Project.

An Executive Summary of the research findings, the draft paper and contact details for the authors is available here.

Prof John Garry, The Democracy Unit Lead, Queen’s University Belfast
Prof Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania
Dr Jamie Pow, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Paul Gillespie, Lead, Constitutional Futures after Brexit project, UCD-IBIS
Prof David Farrell, Chair of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), UCD
Dr Roland Gjoni, Newman Fellow in Constitutional Futures, UCD
Prof Jane Suiter, Director of the Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society, Dublin City University
Prof Jennifer Todd, Fellow, Geary Institute, UCD
Dr Dawn Walsh, Director of Institute of British-Irish Studies, UCD


10am:    Opening Remarks (Dr Dawn Walsh & Dr Paul Gillespie)

10.10:    Session I, Chair: Dr Dawn Walsh
              Key Findings from the Mini-Public Deliberative Forum
              Prof John Garry & Prof Brendan O’Leary

11.00:    Break

11.15:    Session II, Chair: Dr Dawn Walsh
              The Status Quo, Scotland, Reconciliation and the Shared Island Unit: Key Findings and Policy Implications.                  Dr Paul Gillespie & Dr Roland Gjoni

12.00:    Session III, Chair: Dr Paul Gillespie
              Potential for Greater Citizen Engagement in Constitutional Conversations. Panel Discussion and Q&A. 
              Prof David Farrell, Dr Jamie Pow, Prof Jane Suiter, Prof Jennifer Todd

12.50:    Concluding Remarks (Dr Dawn Walsh)




In 2019, IBIS established the Constitutional Futures after Brexit (CFaB) as a three year project to conduct research on the implications of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU for the constitutional futures of these islands (UK and Ireland). The project addresses the principal levels of possible constitutional change in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the EU and is implemented across three substantive pillars: 1) analysis, 2) deliberation, and 3) public policy proposals. 

To advance the deliberation pillar – aimed at ensuring greater citizen engagement in public policy and political decisions through an inclusive, fair and accurate consultation process open to multiple perspectives - IBIS organised  “Mini-Public Deliberative Forum on Constitutional Futures” with 50 randomly selected citizens of the Republic of Ireland. The Mini-Public Deliberation Forum was implemented by the IBIS-led expert team consisting of deliberative democracy specialists, policy advisors and constitutional futures experts from UCD, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Pennsylvania  It took place in April 2021 and was supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

 Full project details available here

The Democracy Unit | Queen's University Belfast
The Democracy Unit provides a vibrant intellectual space for academics who conduct research on the subject of democracy and wish to discuss their work with other researchers, the public and the policy community. Established as a research centre in 2019, The Democracy Unit organises seminars, public lectures, colloquia and major international conferences. For more information about the Democracy Unit see: