Democracy’s Multitudes

Before the whirlwind of the holidays, my friend and democracy- hero, Peter Levine, published a blog post entitled “why the deliberative democracy framework doesn’t quite work for me.” It made me a little prickly given that I am the director of an organization with “deliberative democracy” right in the name. And yet, I understand. My […]

October Bulletin

Hello Deliberative Democracy Pals— I hope you all are enjoying the same kind of delicious fall we are here in the Pacific Northwest (except for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere. . . in your case, I hope it is an equally delicious spring). Interesting Reading Here is some more reporting on James Fishkin’s […]

Diving into Democracy’s Wreck

Wendy Willis, Executive Director, DDC Welcome to all of you. We have been talking about this for so many months. And it’s a huge pleasure to see you all here. So, on behalf of DDC, welcome! And thank you so much to Joe and Norma and everyone at UIC and Hull House for hosting us. […]

Opening Remarks, Research & Practice Meeting

By Bruce Mallory, DDC Co-Chair First and most important, I want to express my deep, deep appreciation to Wendy Willis, our superhero, super generous executive director, and CPO (chief poetry officer).  Wendy took on the role of executive director last winter and has since built on the many contributions that Matt Leighninger made prior to […]

On Political Hobbyism: A Response to Eitan Hersh

by Wendy Willis Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue. ~John Updike Yes, it’s Saturday morning on a holiday weekend, and yes, I am supposed to have my nose to the grindstone working on manuscript revisions, and yes, I am in a beautiful cabin in the woods with my beloved and […]

On Civic Loneliness

given by Wendy Willis, Frontiers of Democracy 2017 When we imagine loneliness—or at least I when I imagine it—I think of an elderly woman, a widow, maybe, living alone in her one-bedroom apartment, nibbling on her baked potato and waiting for Sunday afternoon when her son will call. I imagine her washing her dish, reading […]

A Virtuous Loop

Martin Carcasson, Colorado State University There certainly seems to have been a resurgence in the traditional “citizens can’t handle democracy” argument lately, the most recent coming from Lee Drutman’s Vox article. It can be frustrating how commentators like Drutman often assume that those of us working on improving our democracy by focusing on improving public […]

Fixing What Ails Democracy

By Will Friedman, Public Agenda       What does it mean, this chaotic, disturbing, unpredictable electoral season? We’ll know more after the dust has settled, but we can’t afford to wait to make our best guess. We need a working theory to orient ourselves as we seek to minimize damage and prescribe a path […]

We Invite You to Respond!

In recent days, a vigorous argument has broken out about the role of the public in strengthening the democratic fabric of the United States. Last summer, Jonathan Rauch provocatively argued in the pages of The Atlantic that we need to strengthen the role of political intermediaries and institutions (read: parties and other political professionals) rather […]

Actually, More Participation Can Save American Democracy

By Jessie Conover, Healthy Democracy Lee Drutman of the New America Foundation, writing on’s Polyarchy blog, makes a bold statement: more public participation isn’t the answer to our political woes because the reasonable, civically-minded voter is a myth. This is the latest in a trend of articles analyzing American politics and the role of […]