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Deliberative Democracy

Flying Below the Radar: Making Local Progress in Spite of National Dysfunction

Will Friedman, Ph.D | Posted 04.14.2016 | Impact
Will Friedman, Ph.D

Nationally, we are utterly incapable of collaboration, compromise or making any progress on solving problems. Yet in cities big and small, where most people live and work, the ability of residents and officials to solve problems has not abated and may actually have picked up.

Hal Saunders - Tribute to Democracy Giant

Harry Boyte | Posted 03.10.2017 | Good News
Harry Boyte

Hal Saunders died on March 6, after a struggle with cancer. I first met Hal in 1989, when he asked me to participate in a third task force, on civil...

Dashed Hopes: Why Aren't Social Media Delivering Democracy?

Dana Radcliffe | Posted 10.21.2016 | Politics
Dana Radcliffe

In 2015, popular government seems to be receding globally. With the qualified exception of Tunisia, the Arab Spring did not transform dictatorships into democracies, and democratic governments seem unable to find consensus solutions to many pressing policy questions.

Obama and the Gordian Knot of Politics

John Feffer | Posted 01.28.2015 | Home
John Feffer

The world is more complicated. The knots are somehow knottier. Bringing in a council of concerned citizens to patiently untie the Gordian knot of politics may take longer. But, in the end, consent is mightier than the sword.

Why I Am Illiterate in Math & How Public Education Can Fix It

Elizabeth Evans | Posted 10.01.2014 | Education
Elizabeth Evans

I read the New York Times Magazine cover story about Americans' struggle with math, with special appreciation: I stink at math. I always thought my pr...

The Scorsese Principle of Deliberative Democracy

Zach Hindin | Posted 03.02.2014 | Entertainment
Zach Hindin

The trouble is that last week, my own calculus of rational self-interest took me out to the movies, not to Zuccotti Park. I was aroused, but for all the wrong reasons.

A Civic Infrastructure for Arab Spring

Harold A. McDougall | Posted 09.01.2013 | Politics
Harold A. McDougall

The only circumstances in which robust democracy can fill such a vacuum is if its building blocks have already been established. In a word, Arab Spring lacks a civic infrastructure.

Revitalizing Democracy, Community by Community

Will Friedman, Ph.D | Posted 08.27.2013 | Politics
Will Friedman, Ph.D

Citizens, for their part, grow cynical and angry and learn nothing from poorly designed, empty-gesture or cynically rigged public participation exercises. As a consequence, the spiral of mistrust, gridlock and political dysfunction deepens.

A New Italy and the Myth of the Web

Iginio Gagliardone | Posted 05.20.2013 | Home
Iginio Gagliardone

This is an encouraging sign as it shows Italy's ability to face its crisis not just by falling back on technocracies or populism, but by injecting new meaning in institutions citizens had progressively lost their trust in.

Deliberative Democracy Outreasons Enlightened Dictatorship

David Moshman | Posted 05.15.2013 | Politics
David Moshman

A recently published study compared tiny democracies to tiny dictatorships. The democracies, on average, were more rational.

Reflections on Elections

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 01.12.2013 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

We feel stymied, frustrated that there's no truly effective way to have our say in the political decision-making process that affects all our lives. And we're wrong.

The Case of the Missing White House Petitions

J.H. Snider | Posted 12.31.2011 | Technology
J.H. Snider

Given that We The People does in fact enhance the values of democratic deliberation and accountability, it may be unfair to emphasize the ways it fails to reach its potential.

The 2-Party System Is Dead -- What's Next?

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 09.24.2011 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

Well, it's on. The latest political gold rush to form a viable 3rd party. At the top of the food chain, backed by hedge fund guys, is Amercans Elect...

Crowdsourcing for the Common Good

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 09.18.2011 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

What if there were a way to neuter ideological extremists, and zero out the oversized influence of lobbyists and big money and all the corruption that follows? And do it pretty damn quick.

223 Years On (VIDEO)

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jeffrey Abelson

Today is Constitution Day, aka Citizenship Day. A day to reflect on our extraordinary form of government, and reconnect with what it means to be an active citizen, and why it matters.

America Speaks on Long-Term Deficit Reduction

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

In just two hours, about half of the diverse table groups that took part in the America Speaks National Town Meeting were able to find enough common ground to reduce the deficit in 2025 by $1.2 trillion.

What Does It Take to Have a Civil Conversation These Days?

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

There was plenty of disagreement at our June 26 National Town Meeting, but the disagreements tended to be civil and respectful.

Active Civic Engagement: The Power of People to Make Change

Jane Wales | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jane Wales

Matt Leighninger of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium has written "Creating Spaces for Change: Working Toward A 'Story of Now' In Civic Engagement" focusing on community organizing and deliberative democracy.

Whose Voice Matters Most?

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

There seems to lurk a sense among progressives that The People can't be trusted to think for themselves about the priorities of our national budget, or the direction of our country.

Public Deliberation: The Left Should Learn to Trust Americans

Archon Fung | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Archon Fung

It was distressing that many progressive intellectuals leveled withering scorn at the event AmericaSpeaks held this Saturday, simply because they viewed it as a vast right-wing conspiracy to manufacture public consent to slash public programs.

Make Your Voice Heard Without Screaming

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

Most concerned citizens are frustrated that they can't seem to make their voices heard by elected officials. But is that really true? Or is there a way to radically amplify public voice -- and build a powerful lobby of informed active citizens?