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Democracy When the People Are ThinkingRevitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation$
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James S. Fishkin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198820291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198820291.001.0001

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Making Deliberation Practical

Making Deliberation Practical

(p.69) Part III Making Deliberation Practical
Democracy When the People Are Thinking

James S. Fishkin

Oxford University Press

Eight criteria are discussed for microcosms or mini-publics that can offer input to policy. These include demographic and attitudinal representativeness, sample size, the opportunity to engage policy arguments for and against proposals for action, knowledge gain, opinion change, distortions from polarization and domination by the more advantaged, and whether there are identifiable reasons for the final considered judgments. These criteria are applied in depth to four case studies from different parts of the world: California (on a statewide basis), the city of Ulaanbaatar (capital of Mongolia), two projects in Uganda (in Bududa and Butaleja), and a European-wide Deliberative Poll in Brussels engaging a sample from all twenty-seven countries deliberating in twenty-two languages. These four cases illustrate the prospects and challenges of applying Deliberative Polling to specific policy choices. They illustrate different entry points for the considered judgments of the public. Both qualitative and quantitative data are considered in each project.

Keywords:   Deliberative Polling, knowledge gain, opinion change, polarization, domination, California, Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Uganda

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