The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic Engagement and Political Participation

Paperback | November 7, 2010

byJohn Gastil, E. Pierre Deess, Philip J. Weiser

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Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes democratic civic attitudes and political engagement. The Jury and Democracy is the first book to link jury service and political engagement, demonstrating how this institutionalizedform of deliberation can contribute to democratic society not only in the United States but also in the many other countries using or experimenting with juries.The authors look at court and voting records for over thirteen thousand empanelled jurors from across the United States and draw from interviews with thousands more jurors to show that serving on a jury can trigger changes in how citizens view themselves, their peers, and their government. In fact,the study shows that this experience can significantly increase electoral turnout among infrequent voters. Partly as a result of these changing attitudes, jury service also sparks long-term shifts in media use, political action, and community group involvement. The original findings presented in this research advance modern theories of democracy, deliberation, and the law. Whereas Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone brought attention to informal social networks and voluntary associations, The Jury and Democracy demonstrates the importance of institutionalized,state-sponsored deliberative opportunities for citizens to meet and make legally-binding decisions. Legal debates over the proper use of the jury system have failed to account for the hidden civic costs of circumscribing jury service opportunities. The Jury and Democracy suggests how the jury'spower might influence newer, deliberative visions of democracy and promote the transition to democracy in more autocratic societies.

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Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all alleged that jury service promotes democratic civic attitudes and political engagement. The Jury and Democracy is the first book to link jury service and political engagement, demonstrating how this institutionalizedform of deliberation can contribute to democ...

John Gastil is Professor of Communication and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. E. Pierre Deess is Director of Institutional Research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Philip J. Weiser is Professor of Law at the University of Colorado. Cindy Simmons is Lecturer in Communication at the Uni...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 7, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195377311

ISBN - 13:9780195377316

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and FiguresAcknowledgements1. Freedom in Our Hands2. Between State and Society3. From Jury Box to Ballot Box4. Answering the Summons5. Citizen Judges6. From Courthouse to Community7. Civic Attitude Adjustment8. Securing the Jury9. Political Society and Deliberative DemocracyFurther ReadingMethodological AppendixEndnotesReferencesIndexAbout the Authors