Category Archives: deliberation

Trump’s rhetorical style and deliberation

Donald Trump’s speaking style is extraordinarily paratactic. That is, he utters declarative sentences without any of the explicit transitional words that can explain why sentences fit together. No “therefore’s,” “on the other hand’s,” or even “well, I think’s.” He just … Continue reading

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A New Model for Citizen Engagement

Myung J. Lee, the executive director of Cities of Service, and I have an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that is free to read or download until November 17. We define citizen engagement as a combination of deliberation (communicating and … Continue reading

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a reason for hope: the Citizens Initiative Review

(Posted from DC) The Massachusetts 2016 Citizens Initiative Review just concluded. Twenty randomly selected citizens spent four full days hearing testimony and intensively deliberating to write a statement meant to inform Massachusetts voters about the pending marijuana legalization referendum. Tufts’ … Continue reading

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Massachusetts Citizens Initiative Review: the movie

At Tufts’ Tisch College of Civic Life, we are working with State Rep. Jonathan Hecht and Healthy Democracy to bring the Citizens Initiative Review to our commonwealth this summer. I’ve blogged about the project already, but this 2-minute video by Suffolk student … Continue reading

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Everyday Democracy: racism, policing, and community change

At this moment, I am especially grateful to serve on the board for Everyday Democracy, which works at the intersection of deliberative democracy, community organizing, and anti-racism. The organization has deep experience with “dialogue and action” efforts that “address community-police relations.” They … Continue reading

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saving relational politics

In the June edition of Perspectives on Politics, I have an article entitled “Saving Relational Politics“* I review Caroline W. Lee’s Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry and Josh Lerner’s Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower … Continue reading

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the Massachusetts Citizens Initiative Review

A Citizens Initiative Review is a very clever innovation. A randomly selected jury of citizens assesses a pending ballot initiative or referendum, deliberates, and produces an explanation (and in some versions, an opinion) of the measure that is disseminated to the voters … Continue reading

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tracking change in a group that discusses issues

Colleagues and I just ran a mini-experiment in which students at two very different universities held online discussions of the same controversial current issues. Before and after each discussion, we surveyed them to ascertain their social networks within their own … Continue reading

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assessing a discussion

We discuss in order to address public problems together. We also develop morally through discussion–which, by the way, I would define very broadly to encompass a conversation with your neighbor over the backyard fence, with Leopold Bloom in the pages … Continue reading

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pay-for-success in government

Let’s say you represent a program that would really save the government money as well as serving a social need. For instance, your program can cut the number of felonies, thereby saving $31,000 per person/per year in incarceration costs while … Continue reading

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