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Posts with the Tag “research”

Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America

Challenging the conventional wisdom that Americans are less engaged than ever in national life and the democratic process, the 2009 book Talking Together, authored by Lawrence R. Jacobs, Fay Lomax Cook, and Michael X. Delli Carpini, paints a comprehensive portrait of public deliberation in the United States and explains why it is important to America’s future. The authors’ original and extensive research reveals how, when, and why citizens talk to each other about the issues of the day. They find that—in settings ranging from one-on-one conversations […] (continue)

Assessing the Impacts of Public Participation: Concepts, Evidence and Policy Implications

This 2006 Research Report was written by Julia Abelson and François-Pierre Gauvin for the (now defunct) Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN). The arguments for engaging Canadians at all stages of the policy process are clear and overwhelming. Citizens demand a more meaningful role in policy development. Engagement is a powerful antidote to voter disaffection with political institutions. It means greater policy effectiveness and legitimacy, and it fosters inclusion and social cohesion. Assessing the Impacts of Public Participation explores what we know about assessing the impact […] (continue)

Deliberative Democracy’s Attempt to Turn Politics into Law

Drawing on an example of President Bush's decision as to whether or not to fund stem cell research, the author explores what it takes to make a possible constituency-altering decision for politicians. A multitude of factors go into the mix for the decision, including who is involved in the public in the debate and how those people turnout to vote in the election. The author goes on to look at the feelings of Americans in times of crisis and the leaders' actions in response. (continue)

Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy and the Movement for Civic Renewal

This book is a scholarly examination of the civic renewal movement that has emerged in the United States in recent decades. In contrast to some recent studies that stress broad indicators of civic decline, this study analyzes innovation as a long process of social learning within specific institutional and policy domains with complex challenges and cross-currents. The study is based upon interviews with more than 400 innovative practitioners, as well as extensive field observation, case study, action research and historical analysis. (continue)

Society for Values in Higher Education

The Society for Values in Higher Education is a fellowship of teachers and others who care deeply about ethical issues - such as integrity, diversity, social justice and civic responsibility - facing higher education and the wider society. We believe that such values call for study, reflection, discussion, and action. We pursue these activities through publications, projects, regional gatherings, and an annual national meeting. SVHE's Democracy Project, which began in 1999, is an exploratory initiative that examined models of deliberative democracy and higher education's capacity to engage those models. (continue)

Creating the Commonwealth: Public Politics and the Philosophy of Public Work

Overall, the general culture has increasingly come to devalue and diminish the capacities, talents, and intelligence of everyday citizens. Authors of the three case histories in this book describe new strategies and ideas for renewing public cultures, especially in educational institutions. (continue)

Deliberative Municipal Governance in Latin America: Causes and Consequences

This paper tries first to explain the reasons for the emergence of deliberative municipal governance in Latin America. Second it evaluates these experiences in the light of the criteria developed by Fung and Wright (2001) to try to discern how much they represent a significantly new approach to governance than can be considered both more deliberative and democratic than previous experiences. The data in this study are quite preliminary and should not be taken as "the final word" on the subject. But the hope is that even a cursory look at a few of these processes in Latin America can shed some light on an emerging trend in municipal governance and point us in fruitful directions in the debate on the potential and limitations of deliberative democracy in formal government processes. (continue)

Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy

Every month in every neighborhood in Chicago, residents, teachers, school principals, and police officers gather to deliberate about how to improve their schools and make their streets safer. Residents of poor neighborhoods participate as much or more as those from wealthy ones. All voices are heard. Since the meetings began more than a dozen years ago, they have led not only to safer streets but also to surprising improvements in the city's schools. Chicago's police department and school system have become democratic urban institutions unlike any others in America. Empowered Participation is the compelling chronicle of this unprecedented transformation. (continue)

Face-To-Face at Arm's Length: Conflict Norms and Extra-Group Relations in Grassroots Dialogue Groups

Research has shown that internal relations in small groups are affected by members' relationship to the external world and the extent to which groups focus their efforts on extra-group relations. This article describes the conflict norms used to manage intra-group relations by members of a grassroots dialogue group in the U.S. whose members - US Jews, Palestinians, and others - came together to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (continue)

Experimenting with Deliberative Democracy: Effects on Policy Preferences and Social Choice

Using data from the first fully randomized field experiment within a Deliberative Poll, we examine the effects of the Deliberative Poll's formal on-site deliberations on both policy preferences and "preference structuration" or single-peakedness (operationally, the proportion of individuals whose preferences are aligned along the same shared dimension). The issues were airport expansion and revenue sharing in New Haven, Connecticut and its surrounding towns. We find that deliberation significantly altered aggregate policy preferences and increased the degree of single-peakedness on revenue sharing, though not airport expansion. These results both confirm the promise of civic deliberation as a means of transforming citizen preferences and raise the question of how deliberation's effects may depend on the kind of issue being deliberated. (continue)

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