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From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Book on Deliberative Democracy in America

Ethan Leib sent me the following details about his new book “Deliberative Democracy in America” today.

“We are taught in civics class that the Constitution provides for three basic branches of government, executive, judicial, and legislative. While the President and Congress as elected by popular vote are representative, can they really reflect accurately the will and sentiment of the populace? Or do money and power dominate everyday politics to the detriment of true self-governance? Is there a way to put “We the people” back into government? Ethan Leib thinks there is and offers this blueprint for a fourth branch of government as a way of giving the people a voice of their own.”
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Book on Civil Society

From the March 16 DD-net eBulletin: Is civil society the big idea for the 21st century? Or will the idea of civil society – confused, conflated and co-opted by elites – prove another false horizon in the search for a better world? By illuminating the uses and abuses of different theories and traditions in clear and engaging prose, Michael Edwards, author and Governance and Civil Society Program Director at the Ford Foundation, will guide readers of all persuasions to answer this question for themselves.
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New LogoLink Research Initiative Focuses on Resources, Citizen Engagement and Democratic Local Governance

The main objectives of LogoLink’s new “Research on Resources, Citizen Engagement and Democratic Local Governance” initiative (RECITE) are: (1) to contribute to knowledge on an aspect of participation in local governance that has attracted limited policy interest to date; (2) to draw to the attention of governments and aid donors the importance of creating and resourcing spaces for participatory processes in fiscal decisions; and (3) to strengthen the capacities of LogoLink partners and other civil society groups to influence and participate in the most critical fiscal spaces.

The UK-based LogoLink is a global network of practitioners from civil society organizations, research institutions and governments working to deepen democracy through greater citizen participation in local governance.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Trial Version of a New Website on Participation Launches

A trial version of participation.net, a collaborative information initiative on participatory approaches to citizenship, rights and local governance, has just been launched. Participation.net is a global, online space for sharing ideas about the participation of people in development, citizenship, governance and rights. Researchers, practitioners, activists, educators, policy makers and others from around the world are welcome to exchange diverse views and resources.
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LogoLink Collaborates with the Deliberative Democracy Consortium

On October 22-24, 2003, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) convened a “Researcher and Practitioner Conference” to map out a research agenda in the field of deliberative democracy. As a result of the conference, several research themes were identified and assigned to teams of researchers and practitioners who would develop these into research proposals.

LogoLink representatives participated in the meeting, where they shared the work that the LogoLink network is pursuing and expressed the network’s interest in linking up with the DDC for various learning events and activities. In particular, LogoLink will be involved in two research projects, one on mapping methods in deliberative democracy and the other on documenting activists’ arguments for and against deliberation. The Hewlett Foundation is funding this research initiative. For more info, visit www.deliberative-democracy.net.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CIRCLE Fact Sheet on the Role of Mass Media in Civic Development

A new Fact Sheet from CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research On Civic Learning & Engagement), entitled “Attention to Media and Trust in Media Sources,” examines the role of mass media in the development of young people’s civic knowledge and engagement in three countries – Chile, Portugal, and the U.S. The Fact Sheet shows that young people in all three countries use television most often to get information about politics. Newspapers are also used by a fair number of young people, especially in the U.S. In all three countries, students who frequently read newspaper stories about their country had higher average levels of civic knowledge. The Fact Sheet can be found at www.civicyouth.org/research/products/fact_sheets.htm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New CHOICES Unit for Teachers

“The U.S. Role in a Changing World” is one of the newest units published by the Choices for the 21st Century Education Program of Brown University. This new unit helps students reflect on global changes, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves through informed deliberation the role the US should play in the world today. Click below for info about other resources and ordering details.
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New Higher Ed "Community of Practice" Created on Democratic Dialogue

The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) just created four new web-based COPs (Communities of Practice) — on assessment, cognitive development, electronic portfolios, and democratic dialogue. The Society for Values in Higher Education (SVHE) is facilitating the COP on democratic dialogue, and they are inviting academics who are studying and experimenting with various models of discourse (study circles, National Issues Forums, intergroup dialogue, and others) to participate. Newcomers to the field are welcome! The group will convene a few times a year (optional) and exchange resources, ideas, and announcements via the web site.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Newly Published Works of the late Mary Parker Follett

The Mary Parker Follett Foundation announced on February 22 that the past several years have seen the re-issuing of several books by Mary Follett. Two of her important works/collections have recently been reissued. Creative Experience has been re-issued by Thoemmes Continuum as part of a series, and is available in the U.S. through the University of Chicago ($45, ISBN 1843714884). Dynamic Administration, a collection of papers by Follett that was published after her death, has been re-issued by Routledge ($170, ISBN 0415279852).

From the CommunityFrom the Community

A great article by Gloria F. Mengual outlines how the Study Circles Resource Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have helped neighborhoods in Indianapolis, Indiana, solve their problems through dialogue and collaborative action. According to Mengual, “Since 2000, 780 residents have participated in the 92 Family Circles held in 30 neighborhoods. Participants identified many action ideas they wanted to pursue, including new playgrounds, mentoring programs, after school programs, safe houses for teens and more.” Click below for the full article.
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