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Deliberative Democracy in America

This book offers a blueprint for a fourth branch of government as a way of giving the people a voice of their own. While drawing on the rich theoretical literature about deliberative democracy, Leib concentrates on designing an institutional scheme for embedding deliberation in the practice of American democratic government.

At the heart of his scheme is a process for the adjudication of issues of public policy by assemblies of randomly selected citizens convened to debate and vote on the issues, resulting in the enactment of laws subject both to judicial review and to possible veto by the executive and legislative branches. The 'popular' branch would fulfill a purpose similar to the ballot initiative and referendum but would avoid the shortcomings associated with those forms of direct democracy.

Ethan Leib

Pennsylvania State University Press (2004)

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