Mini-publics in dental public health policymaking

Gary Lowery

Mini-publics in dental public health policymaking

Authors: Gary Lowery
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00077Lowery04


What are mini-publics and under what circumstances could they be applied to public health dentistry? This question is explored with reference to water fluoridation in England, a policy intervention characterised by a visceral politics that has embedded a systemic preference for non-decision-making. Mini-publics can nevertheless inform decision-making by inviting a representative sample of the affected citizenry to consider the available evidence and come to a set of conclusions and/or recommendations that if all parties cannot agree, none can reasonably object. In doing so, mini-publics have the potential to break the policy deadlock by adding an additional layer of legitimacy to the decision-making process, albeit this is dependent upon decision-makers granting value to their findings. Keywords: dental public health, deliberative democracy, water fluoridation, cognitive ideas, normative ideas, mini-publics

£10 single article


Online (Single user only)
Institution Online (IP address validation)

Back issues may be obtained from the publisher

Consider recommending subscription to your institution's library

You can view Open Access papers without a subscription.