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Posts with the Tag “theory”

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)

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)

Cooperative Argumentation: A Model for Deliberative Community

As the globe shrinks, it is more important than ever to discuss ways for diverse groups to coexist peacefully. This practical text offers a fresh approach to argumentation - one that combines reason and refutation with community building, mutual respect, and a recognition of interdependence. The authors provide a wide variety of examples to illustrate concrete proposals for cultivating moral abilities, cognitive skills, and communicative virtues. The ability to engage in cooperative argumentation across differences permits individuals to resolve conflicts peacefully, effectively, and responsibly. (continue)

Report to the Deliberative Democracy Consortium: Building a Deliberation Measurement Toolbox

This project was charged with creating a toolbox of measures for evaluating democratic deliberation, a toolbox of use to practitioners and researchers of deliberation. With a couple exceptions, there are few measures of the consequences or quality of deliberation with a proven record of detecting effects or quality. Indeed, some observers have suggested that it is unlikely researchers will be able to detect most effects of deliberation, in part because the effects may be small and require repeated deliberation experiences. In an encouraging sign, this report introduces a set of measures that does detect strong effects of deliberative experiences, even in one-day deliberations with relatively few participants. (continue)

Is There a Place for Private Conversation in Public Dialogue? Comparing Stakeholder Assessments of Informal Communication in Collaborative Regional Planning

This article, which is based on Lee's dissertation research, compares how ideals like inclusion, transparency, and social capital are interpreted very differently in two different collaborative partnerships and explores the long-term challenges this might create for those attempting to develop formal institutions or best practices for dialogue and deliberation in local communities. (continue)

Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations

Dryzek begins this complex and interesting book by noting that the "final decade of the second millennium saw the theory of democracy take a strong deliberative turn" (p. 1). In this book, he argues for a particular interpretation of deliberative democracy, defends this theory of deliberative democracy against two types of criticism, and applies it to a number of important questions. As Dryzek points out, historically there has been an abiding tension between liberal and democratic theory. (continue)

Democratic Theory and Political Science: A Pragmatic Method of Constructive Engagement

This article develops two conceptual tools to synthesize democratic theory and the empirical study of institutions. The first is a standard to assess conceptions of democracy called pragmatic equilibrium. A conception of democracy is in pragmatic equilibrium just in case the consequences of its institutional prescriptions realize its values well and better than any other feasible institutional arrangements across a wide range of problems and contexts. Pragmatic equilibrium is a kind of Rawlsian reflective equilibrium.... (continue)

Reframing Public Policy: Discursive Politics and Deliberative Practices

In recent years a set of radical new approaches to public policy has been developing. These approaches, drawing on discursive analysis and participatory deliberative practices, have come to challenge the dominant technocratic, empiricist models in policy analysis. The author brings together and critically examines this new work. He describes the theoretical, methodological, and political requirements and implications of the new "post-empiricist" approach to public policy. (continue)

Political Communication and Deliberation

Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication. (continue)

The Triangle of Engagement: An Unusual Way of Looking at the Usual Suspects

This paper, written primarily for practitioners and commissioners of public participation and community engagement, introduces the "Triangle of Engagement," which postulates that the higher the level of engagement required from participants, the fewer people there are who are willing or able to make this commitment. Some of the implications of this model for the practice of public participation are then considered. (continue)