Category Archives: deliberation

empathy boosts polarization

Facebook57 Twitter1Total58In a new article,* Elizabeth Simas, Scott Clifford, and Justin Kirkland provide evidence that empathy is not a solution to partisan polarization in the US. Quite the contrary: people who demonstrate more “empathic concern” are more likely to blame … Continue reading

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the New Institutionalism, deliberative democracy, and the rise of the New Right

Facebook19 Twitter1Total20In public debates about issues and problems, we typically consider institutions in two ways. On the one hand, we discuss their explicit purposes and missions, as reflected in the laws that create and govern them or (if they are … Continue reading

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The Role of Social Movements in Fostering Sounder Public Judgment

Facebook28 Twitter2Total30Public Agenda has released the first papers in their series on “Sounder Public Judgment.” Among them is my paper on “The Role of Social Movements in Fostering Sounder Public Judgment.” It’s a short essay but it has several objectives: … Continue reading

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Deliberative Democracy Consortium conference on whether deliberation is feasible

Facebook39 Twitter1Total40From this official registration page: On October 30 and 31, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium is convening researchers, scholars, and deliberative democracy practitioners in Washington, D.C., to explore the intersection of deliberative democracy with human cognition, social and emotional intelligence, and … Continue reading

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revisiting Against Deliberation in the age of Trump

Facebook16 Twitter1Total17In Introduction to Civic Studies, we recently discussed Lynn M. Sanders, “Against Deliberation,” Political Theory, June 1997 v.25 no. 3 Here are some illustrative arguments from her important piece: “Appeals to deliberation, I will argue, have often been fraught … Continue reading

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the “America in One Room” experiment

Facebook28 Twitter1Total29On the New York Times op-ed page today, James Fishkin and Larry Diamond report the results of convening 523 randomly selected registered voters for several days of deliberation. These voters were surveyed before and after the discussions. Their appraisal of democracy … Continue reading

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marginalizing views in a time of polarization

Facebook15 Twitter1Total16I recently posted “marginalizing odious views: a strategy,” which was about a powerful and sometimes valuable tool for self-governance. When communities define specific perspectives as beyond consideration, they uphold norms without needing formal censorship. This is good when it … Continue reading

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marginalizing odious views: a strategy

Facebook15 Twitter1Total16If you looked out at the National Mall on any Inauguration Day from 1944 to 2012, you might conclude that Nazism had been effectively marginalized in the USA. The president who was being sworn in might be leading a … Continue reading

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civility, humility, tolerance, empathy, or what?

Facebook24 Twitter1Total25It sounds like a parody of a professor’s life, but I have actually attended conferences since 2016 on the themes of: 1) empathy and compassion, 2) civility, 3) responsiveness, and 4) tolerance. I missed an excellent-looking meeting on 5) … Continue reading

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a civic approach to free speech

Facebook13 Twitter1Total14I argued in a recent post that libertarians, social democrats, American liberals, and most US Constitutional scholars share a sharp distinction between the state and the private sector–but this distinction does not reflect our actual experience of the social … Continue reading

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