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Posts with the Tag “critiques”

Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics

The 258-page book, Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics, by Joseph Zompetti was published January 2015. In the book, he discusses the extreme rhetoric that currently prevails in American political discourse and its subsequent effects on people to disengage and the political environment to become polarized. Zompetti shares insight into this toxic political environment, sheds light on the extreme rhetorical practices performed in US politics, and offers critical thinking skills for people to better participate despite this. Below is an excerpt from the book […] (continue)

Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism

This 2010 book by Henry Giroux capitalizes upon the popularity of zombies, exploring the relevance of the metaphor they provide for examining the political and pedagogical conditions that have produced a growing culture of sadism, cruelty, disposability, and death in America. The zombie metaphor may seem extreme, but it is particularly apt for drawing attention to the ways in which political culture and power in American society now operate on a level of mere survival. This book uses the metaphor not only to suggest the […] (continue)

From Fairy Tale to Reality: Dispelling the Myths around Citizen Engagement

Citizen engagement has become increasingly important in the last ten years, but we have barely scraped the surface of what innovative public engagement can do for public services, communities and citizens. Part of what is holding us back is outdated myths about citizen engagement. “From Fairy Tale to Reality: Dispelling the Myths around Citizen Engagement” is a collaborative venture by Involve and the RSA. The pamphlet debunks common misconceptions of public engagement such as fears of spiralling costs and dwindling prospects of success, and provides […] (continue)

Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

This Policy Research Report (2013) from the World Bank analyzes community development and decentralization projects, showing that such projects often fail to be sensitive to complex contexts – including social, political, historical and geographical realities – and fall short in terms of monitoring and evaluation systems, which hampers learning. Citing numerous examples, including projects and programs supported by the World Bank, the authors demonstrate in this 300-page book that participatory projects are not a substitute for weak states, but instead require strong central support to […] (continue)

Five Assumptions Academics Make About Public Deliberation, And Why They Deserve Rethinking

This 2011 article by NCDD member Caroline W. Lee of Lafayette College was published in Volume 7 of the Journal of Public Deliberation. A free download of the article is available at http://services.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1137&context=jpd. Abstract: Academic research on public dialogue and deliberation is abundant and sophisticated. This body of multi-disciplinary scholarship draws on the insights of political theory and case studies, such that much is known about the promise and practical nuances of designing engagement processes with authentically deliberative outcomes. The socio-historical and institutional contexts in which public […] (continue)

Pathways to Participation

Pathways to Participation is a 2011 report from the UK that explores why and how people participate in their society. Tim Hughes, one of the report researchers, pointed out in an email to NCDD member Susanna Haas Lyons a critical finding for public engagement efforts: too often public consultation changes nothing for citizens but a decreased willingness to continue to be engaged. The reason for this is two-fold, he said. One, the engagement exercises are seen as tokenistic, and participants believe that nothing will really […] (continue)

Deliberative Democracy or Discursively Biased? Perth’s Dialogue with the City Initiative

The State Government in Western Australia has portrayed itself as a champion of revitalising local democracy and civic engagement. This can be seen in the plethora of community consultation/participation policy documents that have emerged from the Premier's Citizens and Civics Unit over the past five years. Dialogue with the City, a major participatory planning process that formed part of the development of a new strategic plan—Network City—for metropolitan Perth, has been heralded as an exemplar of deliberative democracy. This paper draws on deliberative democratic theory, performative policy analysis and institutional discourse analysis to interrogate the efficacy of this claim by examining the discursive practices leading up to and including the Community Forum, a major consultative and participatory event of the Dialogue Initiative. (continue)

Deterring Fake Public Participation

Fake public participation is widespread in United States government and in governments all over the world. Since fake public participation undermines true public participation, good government advocates should work to deter it. Fake public participation is a subset of fake democracy and occurs for the same reason: we live in an era when democracy is the only legitimate form of government, so the incentive to fake participation is great. To deter fake public participation, the nature of the problem should be recognized followed by the […] (continue)

Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why?

Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why? is an article published as part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Faculty Research Working Paper Series, co-authored by Michael Neblo, Kevin Esterling, Ryan Kennedy, David Lazer, and Anand Sokhey. It was published in the American Political Science Review Vol. 104, No. 3 (August 2010). This research suggests that willingness to participate in deliberative forms of political engagement is less tied to predictors like race, gender and income than willingness to participate in electoral politics. In the words of the […] (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)