Sonia Bussu


Dr Sonia Bussu is a researcher at Involve. She holds a PhD in Governance and Citizen Participation from the London School of Economics. Her thesis is a comparative study of participatory strategic planning with a focus on different forms and resources of leadership that can facilitate or hinder governance processes. She is passionate about increasing citizen voice in public policy and over the past few years she has been involved in several research projects on citizen participation in policy-making and coproduction of public services, collaborating with universities, practitioners and policy-makers in Italy and the UK and presenting her work at conferences around the world. Her work on facilitative leadership has been published on the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

She also has an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, where she researched participatory democracy and participatory budgeting in emerging economies such as India, Brazil and the Philippines.

Prior to studying politics, she gained her first degree in Languages and an MA in Linguistics and Translation and worked for a few years as a translator and project manager in the film subtitling industry.

Blog posts

What about a Participation Income?

June 12, 2015

When it comes to welfare, there is a deep fault line separating, on the one hand, those in favour of universal mechanisms such as the unconditional basic income (UBI) and, on the other hand, those supporting “workfare”. The first one is understood as an income granted to each individual, without means test or work requirement.…

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A new age of party politics?

June 10, 2015

One thing seems clear about party politics: where there is an issue of trust in politicians, the overall vote share of mainstream parties and voter turnout have consistently declined. See for instance Spain, Greece, or Italy, where the combined share of vote of the centre-left and centre-right has dropped to less than 60% from 84.5%…

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Different with Digital: Opportunities and Challenges for Local Democracy « Local Democracy for Everyone

April 23, 2015

On Tuesday 28th March 2015, the Local Politics standing group (part of the British Political Studies Association) hosted an innovative panel at the PSA general conference in Sheffield, “Different with Digital”. We discussed how digital innovations, from social media to e-petitions, are affecting local democracy and councillors' interactions with the local communities. Marshall McLuhan’s words…

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Citizen Jury: watch our learning in action | NHS Citizen

March 6, 2015

We’ve been blogging in recent weeks about our test of a citizen jury format as a way of deciding the agenda for Assembly meetings. You can read our earlier posts about this here and here. The jury test happened earlier this week, on 3rd and 4th March, and the webcast of the second half of day…

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The public’s voice on regulation | Sciencewise

February 20, 2015

The purpose of regulation, as defined by the National Audit Office Report (2010), “is to provide protections and benefits to, for example, workers, consumers and the environment. However, it can also create costs for businesses, the third sector and the public sector.” A regulatory framework therefore aims to strike the right balance between the costs…

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Effect of discussion and deliberation on the public’s views of priority setting in health care: focus group study | The BMJ

January 5, 2015

To which extent do people change their views about priority setting in health care as a result of discussion and deliberation? This study of a random sample of patients from two urban general practices finds that the public's views about setting priorities in health care are systematically different when they have been given an opportunity…

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