Bringing the mountain to the public: Dilemmas and contradictions in the procedures of public deliberation initiatives that aim to get "ordinary citizens"to deliberate policy issues

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Abstract

Engaging "ordinary" citizens in public deliberations on policy issues raises both theoretical and pragmatic issues. Theorists have delineated a series of broad normative conditions for such deliberative forums to achieve participative democracy ideals, but a common critique is that there is a need for a "more detailed," practice-oriented normative theory of public deliberation. Attempts to realize theoretical stipulations can be found in the practices and procedures employed in current deliberative initiatives. Such practices might be useful in the elaboration of a normative theory of deliberation. Yet, as illustrated in the Health Parliament initiative that took place in Israel, contradictions emerge when certain procedures are employed to accomplish normative stipulations - in particular procedures aimed to enhance participants' competence in discussing policy issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-438
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

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