When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation

Paperback | September 26, 2011

byJames S. Fishkin

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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 bymanipulation? 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 deliberativedemocracy 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 treatmentplants in China, the crafting of budget solutions in a region in Italy, and greater mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Critics of deliberative democracy say that it will privilege the more educated or that the public is incompetent when it comes tounderstanding 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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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 bymanipulation? This book examines each of the princ...

James S. Fishkin is author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992 ), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995), Deliberation Day (with Bruce Ackerman, 2004). His Deliberative Polling process has been conducted in countries ranging from China and Bulgaria to De...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.74 inPublished:September 26, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199604436

ISBN - 13:9780199604432

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Table of Contents

1. Democratic Aspirations2. The Trilemma of Democratic Reform3. Competing Visions4. Making Deliberative Democracy Practical5. Making Deliberation Consequential6. Deliberating Under Difficult ConditionsAppendix: Why We Need Only Four Democratic Theories

Editorial Reviews

`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)...' Perspectives on Politics