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Posts with the Tag “theory”

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)

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)

Ladder of Inference

The "ladder of inference" concept explains why most people don't usually remember where their deepest attitudes came from. The data is long since lost to memory, after years of inferential leaps. Being aware of the ladder of inference enables peopel to improve their communications and thinking by (1) becoming more aware of your own thinking and reasoning (reflection); making your thinking and reasoning more visible to others (advocacy); and inquiring into others' thinking and reasoning (inquiry). (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)

Journal of Public Deliberation

The principal objective of JPD is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some "deliberative democracy." By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. The JPD actually has two websites - one for its "academic side" and one for its "practitioner side." (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)

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