The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

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Mar 27th
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Participedia

Participedia

The DDC is proud to be one of several organizations collaborating to create Participedia - www.participedia.net - the world’s primary repository of information on citizen participation, public deliberation, and collaborative governance. The development of Participedia is led by Archon Fung of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard and Mark Warren at the University of British Columbia. Participedia is an open-source, Internet-based “participatory knowledge tool” that will allow hundreds of researchers and practitioners not only to catalogue, but also to compare the performance of participatory political processes. The hubs for Participedia are UBC (research based on, and to build, Participedia), McMaster University (tools for practitioners based on Participedia), and Syracuse (classroom use of Participedia).

 

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Democracy Helpline

The growth of democratic governance has been a grassroots phenomenon, but most of these efforts to mobilize citizens have been initiated by traditional kinds of leaders. The promise of the Democracy Helpline, a project of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and its Partners, is to enable a broader array of people to make use of these powerful democratic strategies and principles.

The Democracy Helpline will be an unprecedented resource that people will be able to access by phone or on the Internet. Community stories will be the essence of the Helpline: the most valuable way to inspire and prepare new organizers is to give them narratives of existing projects that give them inspiration and useful lessons.

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Teaching Democracy in Public Administration

Teaching Democracy in Public Administration

Why should public administration educators be rethinking their approach to democracy? Is “collaborative governance” broadening to include (or evolving into?) “democratic governance?” How should PA schools teach democratic principles and strategies? Find out how some of your colleagues answered these questions, and add your own thoughts to the mix.

An article by Matt Leighninger called "Teaching Democracy in Public Administration: A roundtable discussion on trends and future prospects," is included in the latest issue of the Journal of Public Deliberation. The issue, a symposium on the ways in which higher education can contribute to democratic governance, was guest-edited by Nancy Thomas of the Democracy Imperative and Martin Carcasson of Colorado State.

Find it at http://services.bepress.com/jpd 

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Projects

Much of the work of the DDC is accomplished by four Task Groups:

The DDC is embarking on a new set of activities, each of which is aligned with one of four key priorities:

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Tunisia, the First Arab Country to Implement PB

Tunisia, the First Arab Country to Implement PB

An interview with Bedis Bouziri

by Daniel Schugurensky

Since the Jasmine revolution of January 14, 2011 that sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisian social and political life has changed considerably. After 23 years of the brutal and corrupt regime of General Ben Ali, the people of Tunisia started to experience the basic preconditions of a democratic state for the first time. Among them are freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and political pluralism, including competitive elections. The intense fear that characterized the 1987-2011 period was suddenly replaced by a general enthusiasm to rebuild government at the state and local level and to promote democratic institutions and practices. Some of this enthusiasm was translated into action with the election of parliament and a head of state, the peaceful transition of power and the promulgation of a new constitution that devotes several articles to decentralization and participatory democracy. Decentralization is an important issue in Tu...

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Deliberative Publicity

Deliberative Publicity

by Chris Karpowitz and Chad Raphael

Why should anyone who does not attend a deliberative forum trust that it was run fairly and that its conclusions are sound? Sure, we know from ample research and our own experiences that practitioners of public deliberation are committed to discovering an authentic public voice and wise solutions to social problems. But even in a world with many more opportunities for deliberation, the vast majority of citizens will not attend any given forum. Those who do not attend cannot directly experience the benefits of deliberation, and they may not fully understand what such forums add to the political discourse or how much credence they should give to what happens there. How do practitioners communicate effectively and ethically to decision makers, stakeholders, journalists, and community members who do not participate in our forums? This is the challenge of publicity.

It is a challenge the field needs to confront squarely. Most civic forums are recent arrivals o...

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What Does Public Innovation Mean?

By Richard C. Harwood

Recently, I was on the public radio program "Innovation Trail" in Rochester, N.Y. to talk about " public innovation ." The station posted the following statement on its website about my appearance : "Two recent interviews by Innovation Trail served as reminders of how often the 'innovation conversation' is framed in terms of technology and economics..." But as we discussed on-air, there's another way to define it.

Rochester is home to Eastman Kodak, the venerable though now long-suffering company best known for making camera film and now feverishly trying to transform itself into a digital technology company. To Kodak, innovation is about developing new product lines that generate high profits. But Rochester also is trying to transform itself from a town once dependent upon Kodak to a community with a more diverse economic base, a revitalized downtown and stronger public schools, among other goals.

Even when talk turns to innovation regarding community goals, the tendency...

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Making Public Participation Legal -- Brookings recap

Making Public Participation Legal -- Brookings recap

By Charlie Wisoff

On October 23, 2013, the Brookings Institution held a panel presentation on a model municipal ordinance and a model state act for public participation. The presentation, titled “Making Participation Legal,” was the culmination of a year’s work of the Working Group on Legal Frameworks for Public Participation, consisting of public participation practitioners and researchers, local public officials, and lawyers. Notable groups represented include the National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National Civic League, America Speaks, and the American Bar Association. Moderator Matt Leighninger and panelists Lisa Amsler and Mike Huggins represented the Working Group. During the Brookings event, the panelists explained the background and main features of the model ordinance and act. A defining theme of the conversation was the extent to which the proposed laws promote, as opposed to simply make a space for, public officials to ...

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Welcome


The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) is a network of practitioners and researchers representing more than 50 organizations and universities, collaborating to strengthen the field of deliberative democracy. The Consortium seeks to support research activities and to advance practice at all levels of government, in North America and around the world.

[Image: AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting]

JPD

JPD logoThe Journal of Public Deliberation is a collaboration between the DDC, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), and the Center for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. An online, refereed journal, JPD is the flagship publication in its field, and an important catalyst for the rapid growth of interest in democracy, citizenship, and participation. Find it at http://services.bepress.com/jpd.

 

DDC eBulletin

  • Want training in public participation? Choose the courses you want to see at the IAP2 Skills Symposium in late May – http://ow.ly/KctPx Trainers include Matt Leighninger, Tina Nabatchi, Steve Clift, Anne Carroll, Kyle Bozentko, and Marty Rozelle.
  • If we gave citizens more ways to measure democracy, they would have more ways to improve it – http://ow.ly/JHmLn @TechPresident
  • Nonprofits that take advantage of new thick and thin forms of engagement can thrive – http://ow.ly/JKfdR @GatesSunlight
  • “If forms of government can be likened to operating systems, current variants of democracy are like early, primitive versions of Windows.” http://ow.ly/KQ0dg “They are neither optimally functional nor user-friendly – they are buggy, susceptible to malware, and lack desired features.”
  • The “People’s Lobby,” which allows people to generate legislation for City Council consideration, and includes a deliberative phase, starts up in Provo, Utah – http://ow.ly/L32e2
  • “Morris Engaged,” which combines education, deliberation, and citizen-led action on climate change in rural Minnesota, has been named a finalist in the Environmental Initiative awards – http://ow.ly/L2WIU @JeffersonCtr
  • The National Civic League has announced the finalists for the 2015 All-America City Award – http://ow.ly/L0AbM @allamericacity
  • Can we fix voting, a part of democracy, without strengthening the other aspects of democracy? Probably not. http://ow.ly/Krz2N And why would we, when the more participatory aspects of democracy offer so many other benefits? Unfortunately, none of those are mentioned in this piece, which is another example of why conflating “democracy” with voting doesn’t help.
  • “Rather than blame our leaders for the dysfunction, we need to change the game.” http://ow.ly/KsHDx This article includes some examples of how engaging citizens in participatory ways – and treating democracy as more than just voting – can tackle problems like climate change that seem politically impossible to address.

DDC on social media

For news, resources, and updates on deliberation, participation, and democratic governance around the world, like DDC on Facebook, follow @mattleighninger on Twitter, or connect with mattleighninger on LinkedIn.

The Next Form of Democracy

Beneath the national radar, the relationship between citizens and government is undergoing a dramatic shift. The stories of civic experiments in "The Next Form of Democracy: How Expert Rule Is Giving Way to Shared Governance -- and Why Politics Will Never Be the Same" by DDC Executive Director Matt Leighninger show us the realpolitik of deliberative democracy, and illustrate how the evolution of democracy is already reshaping politics. Learn more...

Deliberative Democracy Handbook

The Deliberative Democracy Handbook is the first book to bring together the best practices and thinkin on deliberative citizen participation processes. Deliberative democracy is the nationwide movement to make citizen participation meaningful and effective. Learn more...

Deliberative Democracy Handbook Cover

Journal of Public Deliberation
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