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Posts with the Tag “Archon Fung”

These resources and publications were authored in part or in full by Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship at Harvard Kennedy School.

Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy

Every month in every neighborhood in Chicago, residents, teachers, school principals, and police officers gather to deliberate about how to improve their schools and make their streets safer. Residents of poor neighborhoods participate as much or more as those from wealthy ones. All voices are heard. Since the meetings began more than a dozen years ago, they have led not only to safer streets but also to surprising improvements in the city's schools. Chicago's police department and school system have become democratic urban institutions unlike any others in America. Empowered Participation is the compelling chronicle of this unprecedented transformation. (continue)

Embedded Deliberation: Entrepreneurs, Organizations, and Public Action

This very meaty 151-page final report to the Hewlett Foundation includes detailed case studies on West Virginia's National Issues Forums, Public Deliberation in South Dakota, Public Deliberation in Hawai'i, and Connecticut's Community Conversations about Education. Elena Fagotto presented a workshop on her research at NCDD's 2006 conference called "Embedded Deliberation: Moving from Deliberation to Action." She decided to share the report with the NCDD community since many of her workshop participants requested it. (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)

Varieties of Participation in Complex Governance

The multifaceted challenges of contemporary governance demand a complex account of the ways in which those who are subject to laws and policies should participate in making them. This 2006 article by Archon Fung develops a framework for understanding the range of institutional possibilities for public participation. Mechanisms of participation vary along three important dimensions: who participates, how participants communicate with one another and make decisions together, and how discussions are linked with policy or public action. (continue)

Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance

This 2003 book by Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright presents case studies which demonstrate how people are inventing new political forms that realize the deeper democratic ideal of government of, by and for the people. The four contemporary cases explore the participatory budgeting process in Porto Alegre; decentralized school councils and community policing groups in Chicago; stakeholder planning in environmental protection and habitat management; and new participatory governance structures in Kerala, India. www.archonfung.net (continue)

Accountable Autonomy: Participatory Deliberation in Urban Governance

The author examines the Chicago reforms to derive lessons about the institutional designs, politics, and public policies that can establish the direct and deliberative channels of participation for ordinary citizens in the governance of complex common issues. As a rich source to expand theory and practice, the organization of educational and police governance in Chicago differs from that of other cities, and indeed from conventional accounts of participatory democracy. (continue)

Deliberative Democracy and International Labor Standards

Political theorists have argued that the methods of deliberative democracy can help to meet challenges such as legitimacy, effective governance, and citizen education in local and national contexts. These basic insights can also be applied to problems of international governance such as the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of labor standards. A participatory and deliberative democratic approach to labor standards would push the labor-standards debate into the global public sphere. This discussion could potentially improve the quality of labor standards, their implementation, and the education and understanding of citizens. (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)

Op-Ed by Archon Fung in the Boston Globe

This article was written as part of the “Democracy Communications Network,” a 2007-2009 project that encouraged leaders in deliberative democracy to periodically write op-eds and blog posts as part of larger, collaborative media campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of quality public engagement. Use the “Democracy Communications Network” tag to see the articles  written in association with this project. This op-ed was published in the Boston Globe on October 16, 2007, and can be found online at www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/10/16/a_citizen_congress/. A Citizen Congress By Archon Fung | […] (continue)