Hi, I’m Lyn Carson, welcome to my website. I hope to provide easy access to
information which individuals, groups or organisations can use to enhance citizens’
involvement in the activities of local, state or federal government.
I’m currently a professor with the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney, Australia. I’m researching in the fascinating area of community engagement and deliberative democracy. I’m teaching ‘critical thinking’ which will have resonance for those familiar with public deliberation.
Democracy, for me, is active, interactive, deliberative and genuinely representative
of the wider population. It’s as valid to speak of a democratic personality
(Gould, 1988) as it is to speak of a democratic workplace or a democratic society. We
can enact in microcosm what we imagine for the level of nation state. We need not
restrict our thinking to systems of government—we can do democracy at any time, any
Like C. Douglas Lummis, I see democracy as the antithesis of centralised power:
…democracy is one of those beautiful, absolute clear
principles… that poses a maddening, tantalizing puzzle to humankind and launches
us on the historic project of seeking to realize it in our collective life (Lummis,
I note the words of Frances Moore Lappé (2006): “To save the democracy we
thought we had, we must take it to where it’s never been.” One way of saving
democracy—or causing a democratic breakout (Blaug, 1999)—is to involve citizens in
political decision making.
I’ve written numerous articles on public participation in decision
making—from setting up citizens’ juries to improving community consultation
in your local council. Go to Publications if you’d like
to download some of my written works. Your feedback is warmly
encouraged after you have roamed around this site.