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Collective Decision Making Around the World

Is public deliberation rare? How widespread has it been? Are deliberation’s organic practices at the very core of collective decision making? Did it exist before governments developed? The case studies included in Collective Decision Making Around the World (by Ileana Marin, Kettering Foundation, 2006) begin to answer these questions.

The research suggests, rather paradoxically, that deliberation may have been widespread throughout the world and throughout history. Taken as a whole, the case studies also show that deliberation is both fragile and powerful. It can be destroyed by top-down politics, but like a sturdy plant, if eradicated in one area, it reseeds itself in another.

Sustainability seems to be related to codification, references to the past within the process itself, and its ability to become part of the overall political culture.

Collective Decision Making Around the World includes chapters written by international colleagues of the Kettering Foundation. In spite of the challenge of finding accurate historical records, this 198-page volume contains six case studies describing deliberative practices in six countries: Albania, Cameroon, Colombia, New Zealand, Romania, and Russia.

Resource Link: http://kettering.org/publications/collective-decision-making-world/ (free download available)

Resource Link on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Collective-Decision-Making-Around-World/dp/0923993185

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