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The Deliberative Fix? The Role of Staged Deliberation in a Deliberative Democracy

In this paper presented at the 2004 Political Studies Association conference (University of Lincoln, UK), authors Nicola Thompson and Derek R. Bell begin by setting deliberative events in a broader context of deliberative forums or arenas. The authors distinguish three potential arenas of deliberation: the ‘normal, the ‘informal’ and the ‘staged’. They briefly describe three well-known deliberative events: citizens juries, consensus conferences and deliberative polls.

After setting out the benefits and criticisms of these three deliberative events, the authors realize that although the criticisms raise important issues, they do not justify abandoning deliberative events. Instead, they argue that a deliberative democracy must be based on a network of imperfect deliberative arenas, including staged arenas, and suggest that we need to think creatively about designing additional deliberative events that might supplement and strengthen staged deliberation.

Finally, the authors outline one new deliberative event, the ‘deliberative exchange’, which they propose might have a significant contribution to make to the development of staged deliberation and deliberative democracy in general.

Resource Link: https://ncdd.org/rc/wp-content/uploads/ThompsonBell-DeliberativeFix.pdf

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