Thursday, August 31, 2006


Findings about Deliberation

For 25 years, the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio, USA, has been studying public deliberation. Over the past ten years, a score of studies, conducted with a variety of research methods, found that public deliberation makes a difference. Here are some of the highlights:

• Those who take part in deliberations come from every part of society.

• Virtually everyone is capable of deliberating about important public issues. Educational level, for example, is not a barrier.

• Participants reconsider their own opinions and judgments.

• People consider the views of others and develop a greater understanding of those viewpoints.

• Participants approach issues more realistically and are willing to consider costs, consequences, and trade-offs.

• People define their self-interests more broadly.

• Deliberation leads many to feel a greater sense of confidence in what they can do politically. That is, people become more inclined to see themselves as political actors capable of making a difference.

• Participants become more interested in political and social issues.

• Deliberation in a community enhances communication among groups.
Nice bullet points but how is deliberation different than just sitting down and having a debate?

Plus, I don't see how you can get the public interesting to coming to an event like this. Folks won't even attend public meetings anymore.
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