Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Political science, Journalism

Publication Details

Political Studies


The Constitutional Convention was established by the Irish government in 2012. It was tasked with making recommendations on a number of constitutional reform proposals. As a mini-public, its membership was a mix of 66 citizens (randomly selected) and 33 politicians (self-selected). Its recommendations were debated on the floor of the Irish parliament with three of them leading to constitutional referendums; other recommendations are in the process of being implemented. This article uses data gathered during and after the operation of the Convention to examine this real-world example of a mixed-membership mini-public. The focus is on how the inclusion of politicians may have impacted on the Convention’s mode of operation and/or its outcomes. We find little impact in terms of its operation (e.g. no evidence that politicians dominated the discussions). There is evidence of a slight liberal bias among the politician membership, but this had little effect on the outcomes.



Department of the Taoiseach