This article provides a fuller description of the characteristic features of one such deviant discursive practice, and describes some of the contexts where it appears. It does so by introducing a new explicative concept6—ritual deliberation7—which affords a better grip on a subset of puzzling, yet seemingly ubiquitous, deliberations in the wild. The article’s original contribution is to provide a systematic account of ritual deliberation and to distinguish it from other deliberative practices falling short of being “democratic deliberations.” Where situational constraints preclude authentic democratic deliberation, actors often engage in ritual deliberation. It is a second best option that, though often regarded unfavorably, can still have considerable value. Indeed, there are numerous ways in which ritualized deliberation can yield positive outcomes of both a deliberative and extra-deliberative sort.