When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation

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9780199572106: When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation
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Book by Fishkin James S

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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 democracyThe goal is to find out what people would really think if they could share concerns and hear from experts - opinions change, and people learn about one anotherOrganization, technology, and incentives make it possible to become more thoughtful democratic citizens. Wonderful research; strongly recommended. (A.R. Brunello, Eckerd College, writing for Choice magazine, vol 47, no 10)

intriguing...a portrait of public opinion that is more thoughtful than top-of-the-head responses to pollster questions. (Walter Shapiro, Politics Daily)

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)

He makes a persuasive case for his experiments in (Stuart Weir, Open Democracy)

James Fishkin has spearheaded an ambitious project to marry the modern science of opinion polling with the ideal of democratic discussion... (Lynn Sanders, University of Virginia)

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)

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)

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. (Graham Smith, University of Southampton, in Perspectives on Politics)

Fishkin's idea of a systematic social science research program on democratic innovations is timely, and the general strategy that recognizes the compromise between democratic goods or principles that any particular democratic design entails is an important insight ... A final comment on the DVD, (Graham Smith, University of Southampton, in Perspectives on Politics)

Reseña del editor:

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. Do we want a democracy inspired by Madison or by Madison Avenue? A democracy animated by deliberation or by manipulation? This book examines each of the principal democratic theories and makes the case for a democracy in which the people offer informed judgments about politics or policy. It then goes on to show how this form of democracy can be made a reality.

When the People Speak describes 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 to China, the crafting of budget solutions in a region in Italy, and greater mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The book is accompanied by a DVD of "Europe in One Room" by Emmy Award documentary makers Paladin Invision in London. The film recounts one of the most challenging deliberative democracy efforts with a scientific sample from 27 countries speaking 21 languages.

Critics of deliberative democracy say that it will privilege the more educated or that the public is incompetent when it comes to understanding policy issues, and should not be consulted. Others argue that it will increase polarization. Fishkin offers rebuttals for each of these arguments. Combining theory and practice he shows how a more deliberative politics is both practical and compelling.

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