Mapping and Measuring Deliberation
Despite the continuing surge of interest in deliberation, surprisingly little is known about the quality of deliberative processes, particularly their quality in context. The knowledge we have is often more anecdotal than systematic; it focuses on deliberation’s effects rather than its internal processes; its normative injunctions are still based on idealizations of actors, sites and processes more than well-grounded empirics; and it continues to take conclusions reached in one political context and apply them to others without caveats or justifications. All this is complicated by ongoing but rarely-recognized divisions over the methods appropriate for investigating deliberation. This book project (with John Parkinson, University of Warwick) will address these significant gaps in three ways. First, it will systematize what we do know about the quality and dynamics of deliberative processes. Second, it will compare that knowledge with the empirical claims and questions that arise in the latest theorizing about deliberative democracy following the systemic and global governance turns. Third, it will propose systematic research designs to close further the gap between theoretical and empirical deliberative democracy. And fourth, it will provide readers with a panoply of examples of deliberative action in the political and civic sphere.
Bächtiger, André and John Parkinson (2014). Mapping and Measuring Deliberation. Micro and macro knowledge of deliberative quality, dynamics and contexts. Forthcoming Oxford: Oxford University Press.