How talk informs

Robert E. Goodin

in Innovating Democracy

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547944
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720116 | DOI:
How talk informs

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Insofar as the reason ‘why’ we want deliberative democracy is just to pool information, what justifies so much emphasis among deliberative democrats on talking face-to-face to the exclusion of other equally good ways of pooling information? This chapter develops a contrast between two ways of pooling information: mechanically (through vote counting) and discursively (through talking together). It goes on to canvass five ways in which pooling information discursively might capture information that would have been lost had the information-pooling been done by more purely mechanical means.

Keywords: discursive democracy; information pooling; deliberative democracy; face-to-face; cascades; group polarization

Chapter.  6414 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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