Japan Mini-Public Research Forum
Who we are?
The Japan Mini-Public Research Forum (JMPRF) is a gathering of citizens, practitioners, and scholars who implement and theoretically study mini-public citizen participation activities in Japan.
We work collaboratively with those involved to disseminate knowledge, expertise, and research on deliberative mini-publics in Japanese society. JMPRF is a founding member of “Democracy R&D,"
a transnational network on action and research for developing and promoting mini-publics.
What we do
We are devoted to promoting deliberative mini-public activities. From 2015 to 2018, we held three open seminars to share cutting-edge practical and theoretical results brought by international institutions convening and promoting mini-publics, including the nexus Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research (Germany), the Jefferson Center (USA), and the newDemocracy Foundation (Australia), as well as activists engaging mini-publics in citizen participation endeavors in Japan.
Mission and values
JMPRF is based on the innovative idea that the participation of randomly selected citizens or "mini-publics" can make a difference in the governmental policymaking process. We work to promote and study new democratic initiatives such as planning cells, citizen juries, consensus conferences, and deliberative polls. These innovative tools have been tested around the globe in municipal, regional, national, and transnational levels by non-partisan organizations (such as the Jefferson Center) and research institutes (such as the nexus Institute and the newDemocracy Foundation ) and also by national and local governments (including collaborative partnership efforts with civil society organizations).
Japan has had some experience with these new methodologies, and now, enthusiasm over this first wave of new democratic initiatives is helping us build toward future work in this area.
Today, we see emerging research trends that cross-link theories of deliberative democracy and practices of deliberative mini-publics, and new efforts to examine these are underway that use mini-publics methods as a means for universal participation, such as in the "Citizen Panel” in Japan.
To fulfill the potential of deliberative mini-publics and eventually to build a healthy and fair democratic society, we must overcome theoretical and practical problems inherent to these participation methods and undertake novel action research to solve them.
We established JMPRF to integrate achievements in theoretical studies and the practice of deliberative mini-publics and disseminate them in Japanese society.
Our team and funding
JMPRF is an independent and non-profit network. No particular enterprise, institution, or group’s contribution is dominant in our funding portfolio. Scholars and researchers who commit to deliberative mini-publics activities share financial support for the forum's activities.