Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation (Hardback)
  • Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation (Hardback)
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Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation (Hardback)

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Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 05/07/2018
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Democracy requires a connection to the 'will of the people'. What does that mean in a world of 'fake news', relentless advocacy, dialogue mostly among the like-minded, and massive spending to manipulate public opinion? What kind of opinion can the public have under such conditions? What would democracy be like if the people were really thinking in depth about the policies they must live with? If they really 'deliberated' with good information about their political choices? This book argues that 'deliberative democracy' is not utopian. It is a practical solution to many of democracy's ills. It can supplement existing institutions with practical reforms. It can apply at all levels of government and for many different kinds of policy choices. This volume speaks to a recurring dilemma: listen to the people and get the angry voices of populism or rely on widely distrusted elites and get policies that seem out of touch with the public's concerns. Instead, there are methods for getting a representative and thoughtful public voice that is really worth listening to. Democracy is under siege in most countries, where democratic institutions have low approval and face a resurgent threat from authoritarian regimes. Deliberative democracy can provide an antidote and can reinvigorate our democratic politics. This book draws on the author's research with many collaborators on 'Deliberative Polling'-a process conducted in 27 countries on six continents. It contributes both to political theory and to the empirical study of public opinion and participation. It should interest anyone concerned about the future of democracy and how it can be revitalized.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198820291
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 514 g
Dimensions: 237 x 161 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Fishkin's book is worthwhile...important work. * Margaret Petrie, University of Edinburgh, Concept *
A provocative book that makes the case for the importance of deliberation as the foundation of real democracy. It challenges our beliefs about what is possible and outlines an institutional framework for creating a real deliberative democracy. It is an antidote to those who are pessimistic about the future of democracy. * Norman M. Bradburn, Senior Fellow, NORC at the University of Chicago. *
In this extraordinary book, Fishkin surveys the world wide efforts of governments and civil society groups to create real-world institutions enabling citizens to discuss and determine the fundamental issues confronting their societies. Based on this extraordinarily informed study, Fishkin shows how modern technology will permit even more dramatic expansions of deliberative democracy in the twenty-first century. At a time when pundits prophesy the fall of liberal democracy, Fishkin's demonstrations of these breakthroughs are of particular importance. * Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University. *
This book may - and I hope will - change the face of democracy. With examples from California, Texas, Mongolia, Uganda, China, Japan, Macau, Australia, the UK, and Europe, Fishkin shows how a representative body of citizens, chosen by lot and stratified to include all relevant sections of the community, can, after deliberating, come to informed conclusions that have a major impact on key public decisions. Case upon case breaks new ground in the growing global movement to harness the intelligence and legitimacy of citizens drawn by lot. * Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard Kennedy School. *

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