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12 January 2024

The innovative study helping to shape new approaches to public policy

A King’s academic who conducted an innovative study into deliberative democracy has been advising government and public bodies across the UK about how they might incorporate the findings into their work.


Dr Christopher Holmes designed and directed the Citizens’ Economic Council on the Cost of Living, a project run in 2023 which sought to give members of the public a say in national economic policy by equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to make informed choices. The project was a means of testing the usefulness of deliberative democratic methods in the economic policy space.

Following publication of the project findings, Dr Holmes, from the Department of European and International Studies at King’s, has discussed the report and shared knowledge with governmental bodies across the country, potentially shaping how policy is both created and communicated to the public in the future.

In November, Dr Holmes met with both the Scottish Parliament Communities Team and the Scottish Government Qualitative Research Team to advise on how the innovative aspects of the project’s methodology could be integrated into their work with citizens in future. He also met with the Bank of England’s acting head of public and stakeholder engagement in November to share views on how the public can best be engaged on complex economic topics.

In December, Dr Holmes discussed the project with the UK Office for Statistics Regulation with a view to learning lessons about the project’s methodology. The project also came to the attention of the UK Climate Change Committee, which invited Dr Holmes to discuss consultation work it is carrying out on net zero policy that is set to involve deliberative methods.

Plans are in place for Dr Holmes to present his findings in Portcullis House in April, after an MP expressed an interest in sponsoring an event about the project.


You can find out more about the project and read the full report here: Citizens' Economic Councils 'can help rebuild trust in politics'.

In this story

Christopher Holmes

Associate Dean (Doctoral Studies), Interim