When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation

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9780199572106: When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation

All over the world, democratic reforms have brought power to the people, but under conditions where the people have little opportunity to think about the power that they exercise. In this book, James Fishkin combines a new theory of democracy with actual practice and shows how an idea that harks back to ancient Athens can be used to revive our modern democracies. When the People Speak outlines deliberative democracy projects conducted by the author with various collaborators in the US, China, Britain, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, and in the entire European Union. These projects have resulted in the massive expansion of wind power in Texas, the building of sewage treatment plants in China, and greater mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

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About the Author:


James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he teaches Communication and Political Science and Directs the Center for Deliberative Democracy. He is author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation, The Dialogue of Justice, The Voice of the People, and Deliberation Day (with Bruce Ackerman). His Deliberative Polling process has been conducted in countries ranging from China and Bulgaria to Denmark, Britain, Australia, Italy, Hungary, and the US.

Review:


"James Fishkin is an impressive individual...Fishkin has done what (to my knowledge) no other democratic theorist has attempted, namely, to design his own democratic institution--the deliberative poll (DP)...The [accompanying DVD] offers an indispensable insight into how a DP works and will play a useful pedagogical function: It will enliven discussions on democratic innovations in the seminar room and also enlighten those many critics of Fishkin who clearly do not understand or appreciate the designs dynamics." --Perspectives on Politics


"After many years of perfecting the art of deliberative polling from his place as director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, Fishkin offers fresh evidence of the promise the model holds for democracy... Wonderful research; strongly recommended." --CHOICE


"It is a wonderful, rare mix of deep political theory and careful attention to the practical challenges to making democracy work." --Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia Professor of Politics


"Intriguing...a portrait of public opinion that is more thoughtful than top-of-the-head responses to pollster questions." --Walter Shapiro, PoliticsDaily.com


"James Fishkin has spearheaded an ambitious project to marry the modern science of opinion polling with the ideal of democratic discussion...When the People Speak is the latest formal enunciation of this new methodology. It's not Fishkin's first book on the topic but it is the most theoretically ambitious and comprehensive to date." --Lynn M. Sanders, Associate Professor of Politics, University of Virginia


"When the People Speak is both a heartfelt plea for a far more deliberative conception of political democracy and a rigorous analysis of what now constitute almost two decades of data amassed in the course of conducting what Fishkin terms "deliberative polls" all over the world. Fishkin is almost literally unique in combining the talents of a world-class political theorist with those of an equally first-rate social scientist...asking genuinely radical questions about our political order and, at the same time, suggesting what would be equally radical changes." --Sanford Levinson, Chair in Law and Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Our Undemocratic Constitution


"Since James Fishkin designed deliberative opinion polls almost two decades ago, they have been conducted around the world...This particular type of deliberative polling, reconceptualized most recently in When the People Speak, is likely the most effective institutional mechanism known to date for bringing to life the ideal of deliberative democracy." --Albena Azmanova, Director of Program in International Political Economy and Political Strategy and Communication, Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent


"The Deliberative Polls of James Fishkin represent today the gold standard of attempts to sample what a considered public opinion might be on issues of political importance."--Jane Mansbridge, Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


"James Fishkin is the unquestioned king of deliberative polls (DPs), a device whose reach is now very impressive indeed... Fishkin writes accessibly and with elegance... Arguments are persuasively crafted... Inspiring." --Sociology


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James S. Fishkin
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Fishkin, James S.
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