The Introduction presents the significance of this book in terms of the hype surrounding Democracy 2.0: the participatory renaissance of the post-Obama, post-Occupy era. It chronicles the reception of “Our Budget, Our Economy,” a process that prompted criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Deliberation professionals’ reactions to this high-profile public engagement controversy demonstrate both their self-awareness and their fears about the risks of expanding public engagement. The chapter goes on to define the field and the terms used in it. Moreover, it poses the questions and quandaries about public participation that the book as a whole addresses.
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