Here’s one more reason to sign up for NCDD’s first online book club… the Kettering Foundation wants to send a free copy of Democratizing Deliberation to all book club members!
Sign up at www.ncdd.org/community/bookclub1-signup today if you haven’t already.
Democratizing Deliberation: A Political Theory Anthology presents cutting-edge political theory on deliberative democracy. Edited by Derek Barker, Nöelle McAfee, and David McIvor, the collection reframes deliberative democracy to be sensitive to the deep conflicts, multiple forms of communication, and aspirations for civic agency that characterize real public deliberation. In so doing, the book addresses many common challenges to the theory and practice of deliberative democracy.
In the book club, we’re going to engage NCDDers in the book’s content and ideas chapter by chapter. ”Chapter Leaders” will post on the NCDD blog a summary of the chapter they’re assigned, including some of their own reflections on what’s presented in their chapter. Book club members will then engage with each other on the blog and potentially in some other formats, responding, reflecting, and discussing the summary and the chapter.
We hope the book club will be a fun way to delve into some of the most important research out there on deliberative democracy.
Interested in being a Chapter Leader? Look over the chapters at http://kettering.org/publications/democratizing-deliberation/ and let me know which one(s) you’d like to summarize!
For those not joining the book club, here’s how to order your copy:
Call 1-800-600-4060 to order the 184-page book, or email your order and mailing address to [email protected]. The list price is $15.95, but there is a 20% discount in effect until October.
And here’s an excerpt from the introduction, just to give you a taste of the rich discussion we’re likely to have together…
…the articles collected here also challenge practitioners to take more seriously the notion of democratizing deliberation. Democratizing deliberation asks practitioners to look beyond what Martín Carcasson calls “first-order” goals, such as producing deliberation within forums and informing citizens about specific issues. A broader concept of deliberation must also push toward intermediate goals, such as public action, and, most important, toward ultimate aspirations to strengthen democracy as a whole. At first glance, these goals seem consistent. However, focus on the immediate task of producing deliberation can invite the common criticism that deliberation is “all talk and no action.”
The use of specific techniques for producing deliberation can signal that democracy requires advanced skills that are, ironically, beyond the capabilities of most citizens. The articles in this volume encourage practitioners to think critically about the extent to which they have internalized a narrow concept of deliberation, using deliberation as a technique to produce a certain type of discourse, or manufacture a consensus within a discrete forum. Democratizing deliberation encourages a broader view of deliberation as an exercise in civic agency, an effort to make visible to citizens the choices they have available to them in politics, and to cultivate these citizens’ capacities to make a difference in the lives of their communities.
Democratizing deliberation does not reject or trivialize the first-order work of convening forums, but rather seeks to inform that work with more robust conceptions of deliberation that treat citizens as capacious civic actors.