Deliberative Engagement: The Forum in the System

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Recent decades have seen an explosion of innovative forms of
public engagement on many kinds of issues in many countries
(even a few transnational experiments), and nowhere is this
more true than on questions concerning the environment and
the risks of new technologies. Here, I will examine this pattern
of innovation through a deliberative lens in order to take stock
of both successes and failures. At first glance, it might seem that
success comes mainly in the form of high-quality deliberation
in particular forums; failure comes mostly in the frequent failure of those forums to have much impact in larger processes
(though such failure is not universal; see Goodin and Dryzek
2006 for a compendium of success stories). Here though, I will
take a somewhat different approach grounded in a system view
of deliberative democracy, in which the core questions concern
the deliberative qualities of larger-scale systems of governance,
to which particular forums might contribute. I will develop
some ideas about the place of forums within larger systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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