Evaluating Deliberative Public Events and Projects

John Gastil, Katie Knobloch and Meghan Kelly

in Democracy in Motion

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199899265
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980147 | DOI:
Evaluating Deliberative Public Events and Projects

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Drawing on theoretical and empirical research on deliberation, this chapter seeks to answer the following question: What research designs and evaluation methods are used to assess the processes and outcomes of deliberative projects and programs? With a wide diversity of agencies and organizations deploying different approaches and institutional designs to deliberative civic engagement, it has become more important than ever to take seriously the evaluation of these processes. At present, however, there exist no systematic comparisons of alternative deliberative methods. This chapter aims to facilitate such comparisons through three main sections: (1) a review of the purposes and pitfalls of evaluation, (2) a description and operationalization of three general evaluation criteria based on past theory, research, and practice, and (3) a discussion of suggested measurement approaches for each criterion that can be combined to produce robust evaluations with either small or large research budgets.

Keywords: deliberation; civic engagement; deliberative civic engagement; evaluation; institutional design; operationalization; research design

Chapter.  9024 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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