Organizing Deliberation

in Talking Together

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226389868
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226389899 | DOI:
Organizing Deliberation

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Discursive participation about issues of public concern can take many forms—from an exchange over the phone or via e-mail to an informal conversation at work or home to participation in more public or semipublic forums. While any form of public talk requires some degree of individual interest, ability, and opportunity, participation in public forums can be particularly costly, requiring individuals who are willing and able to talk collectively with each other in public and to devote time and effort to interacting with others who may not understand their views or who might even oppose them. Several disparate forms of deliberative organizations that have emerged in the United States can be differentiated by whether they are temporary or permanent, by who initiates them, and by who participates in them. An important variation among these organizations is their degree of coordination (independent or linked) and whether they are local or national. This chapter explores the organizational infrastructure that facilitates public deliberation, identifying and analyzing which helps to explain the surprisingly wide scope and public nature of discursive participation.

Keywords: public deliberation; public talk; United States; discursive participation; public forums; deliberative organizations; coordination; organizational infrastructure

Chapter.  5908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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