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Posts with the Tag “John Gastil”

These resources and publications were authored in part or in full by John Gastil of Penn State University.

The Jury and Democracy Project

The Jury and Democracy Project aims to understand the impact that jury service has on citizens. Too often, people think of the jury as nothing more than a means of reaching verdicts. In fact, serving on a jury can change how citizens think of themselves and their society. Our purpose is to study those changes. The project's website provides access to the people behind the project, the writings they have produced, the data they have collected, general background on the project, and other links of interest. Principal investigators of this project are Perry Dees (Director of Institutional Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology), John Gastil (Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington), and Phil Weiser (Associate Professor in the School of Law at the University of Colorado). (continue)

By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections

Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public. (continue)

Democracy in Small Groups: Participation, Decision Making and Communication

Drawing from years of research and experience, John Gastil offers a variety of solutions to the problems commonly faced by small, democratic groups. He thoroughly explores the dynamics of practicing democracy, including the relationship between speaking rights and listening responsibilities; the important of full access to information and agenda setting: and ways to practice democracy in personal, family and neighborhood life. (continue)

Civic Awakening in the Jury Room: A Test of the Connection between Jury Deliberation and Political Participation

Deliberative democratic theory posits that civic discussion leads to increased involvement in public affairs. To test this claim, this study explored the link between jury deliberation and electoral participation. It was hypothesized that empanelled jurors who reach verdicts are more likely to vote in subsequent elections than empanelled jurors who fail to reach a verdict or even begin deliberations. Data collected in Thurston County, Washington, supported this hypothesis. Controlling for other trial features and past voting frequency, citizens who served on a criminal jury that reached a verdict were more likely to vote in subsequent elections than were those jurors who deadlocked, were dismissed during trial, or merely served as alternates. (continue)

The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century

The Deliberative Democracy Handbook is a terrific resource for democratic practitioners and theorists alike. It combines rich case material from many cities and types of institutional settings with careful reflection on core principles. It generates hope for a renewed democracy, tempered with critical scholarship and political realism. Most important, this handbook opens a spacious window on the innovativeness of citizens in the U.S. (and around the world) and shows how the varied practices of deliberative democracy are part of a larger civic renewal movement. (continue)

John Gastil’s Op-Ed for the Seattle Times

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. Fewer than one-in-four Americans expect Washington to “do what is right” most of the time, according to a July 2007 CBS poll. A Pew Research Center […] (continue)