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Posts with the Tag “research”

Discourse Categories in Encounters Between Palestinians and Israelis

The discourse in encounter groups between Jewish and Palestinian Israeli citizens was analyzed to investigate factors that promoted or hindered understanding between conflict groups. A typology of seven categories, ordered on a scale from monologues that do not meet to affective and cognitive understanding, was used. A histogram presented percents of speech categories per encounter. Qualitative and quantitative methods exposed factors influencing group processes. Changes in speech categories were chaotic, as opposed to linear. Analysis showed an interaction between the pressure of the conflict reality outside and the internal group process. This article addresses the theoretical question of the goal of intergroup encounters. (continue)

Kettering Foundation

The central question behind the foundation's research is currently this: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? The Kettering Foundation produces low-cost publications of interest to dialogue leaders. A few examples are: Making Choices Together: The Power of Public Deliberation; Community Leadership: Community Change through Public Action; and How the Community Works: Officeholder Perspectives on Democratic Self-Government and the Community. The Kettering Foundation spawned the National Issues Forums. (continue)

How Deliberation Affects Public Opinion

Democratic theorists argue that deliberation promotes consensus and enlightenment, but few explain how deliberation affects public opinion. This study develops a theory of deliberative opinion updating based upon Bayesian learning whereby citizens revise their prior beliefs with information obtained through discussion. The theory focuses analytical attention on both the opinions citizens report to survey researchers as well as the distributions of considerations underlying their individual attitudes. Application of the theory to a panel survey bracketing a deliberative forum and national surveys reveals that as expected, deliberation improves knowledge, affects the considerations underlying opinions, and alters references toward Social Security reform options. The results show that public discussion in an organized deliberative forum or in ordinary situations can increase knowledge and alter opinions, but it does so selectively based upon the quality and diversity of the deliberation. (continue)

Language Expectancy Theory

Language Expectancy Theory is a formalized model about message strategies and attitude and behavior change. Message strategies include verbal aggressions like fear appeal, explicit opinions and language intensity which are more combat. Language Expectancy Theory assumes that language is a rule-governed system and people develop expectations concerning the language or message strategies employed by others in persuasive attempts (Burgoon, 1995). Expectations are a function of cultural and sociological norms and preferences arising from cultural values and societal standards or ideals for competent communication. (continue)

Shutting the Public Out of Politics: Civic Republicanism, Professional Politics, and the Eclipse of Civil Society

In this historical overview of the role of the citizen, Snyder examines the elements of, and the causes for, the decline of active citizenship in the U.S. and the emergence of 'professional policymakers.' She advocates public deliberation and civic action as ways for citizens to take back their traditional roles and 'force open the door' of American politics. (continue)

ICANN, Legitimacy, and the Public Voice: Making Global Participation and Representation Work

This report presents the findings of the NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS), a collaboration of ten research teams from around the world. The findings reported here began with an elaborate series of studies conducted within each of ICANN's five designated geographical regions. The methodology of these regional assessments varied based on local conditions, but included personal interviews with experts and leaders, intensive review of supporting documents and media coverage, surveys of key stakeholders, and the analysis of experienced researchers. Cross-regional comparisons were made, coupled with a conceptual investigation of ICANN's governance structure. Our final analysis and recommendations are the product of intense consultation, deliberation and collaboration since the formation of NAIS in early 2001. (continue)

Mapping Dialogue: A research project profiling dialogue tools and processes for social change

This research project was commissioned by GTZ as part of their supporting the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) to explore ways in which dialogue can be used to address social challenges in South Africa. During and since South Africa's transition to democracy, Nelson Mandela has exhibited a formidable ability to forgive and suspend judgment, along with an awareness of the importance of listening to all sides. Pioneers of Change was asked in this context to map out a variety of approaches, and to provide an overview, case examples and commentary on each. (continue)

Building Collaborative Capacity in Community Coalitions: A Review and Integrative Framework

This article presents the results of a qualitative analysis of 80 articles, chapters, and practitioners' guides focused on collaboration and coalition functioning. The purpose of this review was to develop an integrative framework that captures the core competencies and processes needed within collaborative bodies to facilitate their success. The resulting framework for building collaborative capacity is presented. Four critical levels of collaborative capacity - member capacity, relational capacity, organizational capacity, and programmatic capacity - are described and strategies for building each type are provided. The implications of this model for practitioners and scholars are discussed. (continue)

Recipes for Public Spheres: Eleven Institutional Design Choices and Their Consequences

For much of this century, theorists and observers of modern politics have lamented the erosion the public (Lippmann 1922; Dewey 1927), or the public sphere (Habermas 1989; 1992), and its consequences for democracy. Following these critics, the author takes the public sphere to be that region between individual citizens and their intimate associations of family, the economic sphere of market and firms, and the formal state sphere of political representation and public administration. In a healthy public sphere, citizens interact with one another to develop perspectives and opinions regarding their collective life together. Some of these opinions and criticisms address the harmful impacts of economy upon civic life, while others focus on defects of formal state activity: in law, regulation, and public policy. (continue)

Democratic Technologies? Final report of the Nanotechnology Engagement Group (NEG)

In laboratories across the world, new scientific territory is being uncovered everyday; territory that offers groundbreaking opportunities for society, as well as new risks and unexpected challenges. The power of technology is clear, but its governance is not. Who or what makes these world-shaping decisions? And in whose interests are they made? These are the questions posed by a growing number of researchers, NGOs, citizens, politicians and scientists who seek to challenge the way that science and technology is governed and invent new ways to democratise the development of new technologies. This 172-page report documents the progress of six projects that have sought to do just that - by engaging the public in discussions about the governance and development of nanotechnologies. Includes an Appendix listing 17 international public engagement projects (including their findings). (continue)