The article analyzes different forms of democratic innovation. On the one side, it highlights how deliberation is embedded in institutions that hold concrete decision-making powers; on the other side, it explores possibilities for the concrete implementation of an “integrated deliberative system”, in which mini-publics are not only isolated experimentations of the governmental authorities conducted for some specific targets. It then focuses on two different albeit complementary features of deliberative democracy. The first regards how to accommodate law-making processes to deliberative standards; the second feature develops how legal arrangements can permanently regulate deliberative processes, such as mini-publics. The paper aims to ascertain whether it is possible to fit permanent deliberative experiments into constitutionally regulated decision-making processes. Primarily, the essay shed light on the above mentioned question by analyzing ad hoc experiences of law- and constitution-making processes, which took place through “deliberative mini-publics”. The article then investigates permanent legal regulations for deliberative processes by referring to some institutional and procedural examples, in general, and by analyzing the experience of two Italian regions (Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna) and a Spanish one (Aragon), in particular, which adopted general regulations on deliberative mini-publics. The article opposes one-time deliberative experiments and long-term deliberative arrangements in order to assess which option better fits the decision-making processes in contemporary constitutional systems. The objective of the comparative analysis of different theoretical and practical examples of democratic innovations is twofold: on one hand, it demonstrates that democracy - as a government tool - might be concretely restructured in order to better match the modern needs; on the other hand, it helps exploring the reality with the purpose to imagine what constitutional democracy might mean and might become in the future.
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