The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Mar 23rd
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Guides and Reports

Insight into ways public deliberation can augment decision-maker interaction with the public, and get things done.

DocumentsDate added

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file icon DDC activities gridhot!Tooltip 05/08/2013 Hits: 2690
The DDC activities chart gives you an overall picture of the Consortium's work over the last six years.
Discussion materials and organizing suggestions for a school-community forum on school safety and other issues related to the Newtown tragedy.
file icon Deliberation by the Numbershot!Tooltip 08/15/2012 Hits: 3419
A compilation of statistics from large-scale deliberative projects
Report by Maxwell School MPA students on the feasibility of an online platform for public participation evaluation.
The 2012 Civic Engagement and Democracy Lecture, given by Matt Leighninger at the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
file icon DDC activities 2007-2013hot!Tooltip 04/25/2012 Hits: 2831
The DDC activities chart gives you an overall picture of the Consortium's work over the last six years, with notations for the new publications, events, and areas of work that have emerged over the last three months.
How can legislators and other leaders help create healthier, more productive civil discourse? A new slideshow from the DDC summarizes recent research on legislators' attitudes, and compares those findings with evaluations of public deliberation projects.
Full report of the "Bridging the Gap" project,which summarizes recent research on legislators' attitudes and compares those findings with evaluations of deliberative projects.
Executive Summary of the report on Bridging the Gap between Public Officials and the Public
file icon DDC activities, 2007-2011hot!Tooltip 06/24/2011 Hits: 3602
Chart summarizing the DDC's priorities and activities over the last four years.
How might we redesign local democracy around the day-to-day goals and concerns of citizens? A set of leaders in civic engagement, including representatives of national associations that represent local officials, school systems, funders, and other leaders, met in early 2010 to compare notes on their work in communities and discuss possibilities for innovation. This report describes their discussion and recommendations.
A guide from the National League of Cities and the DDC that helps local leaders work with recent immigrant communities on civic engagement
file icon Creating Spaces for Changehot!Tooltip 04/14/2010 Hits: 9747
A report summarizing the ways in which community organizing and deliberative democracy are converging, the remaining differences, and overarching priorities shared by both strands of active civic engagement.
file icon Democracy, Growing Up hot!Tooltip 07/06/2009 Hits: 10252
Report from 2009 meeting on neighborhood governance, cosponsored by DDC, Grassroots Grantmakers, and the National League of Cities.
From the Collaborative Governance Initiative: In designing public involvement, extra attention to these ten points can help assure an effective and successful process (November 17, 2005).
file icon Public Workshot!Tooltip 05/22/2008 Hits: 9267
Program overview for the Demos Center for the Public Sector: strategies to change perceptions of government and build support for its essential tasks, engaging national and state leaders and beginning a new public conversation (December 5, 2005).
file icon Using the Power to Convenehot!Tooltip 05/22/2008 Hits: 9330
A "how to" for legislative leaders.


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


DDC eBulletin

  • Want training in public participation? Choose the courses you want to see at the IAP2 Skills Symposium in late May – 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 – @TechPresident
  • Nonprofits that take advantage of new thick and thin forms of engagement can thrive – @GatesSunlight
  • “If forms of government can be likened to operating systems, current variants of democracy are like early, primitive versions of Windows.” “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 –
  • “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 – @JeffersonCtr
  • The National Civic League has announced the finalists for the 2015 All-America City Award – @allamericacity
  • Can we fix voting, a part of democracy, without strengthening the other aspects of democracy? Probably not. 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.” 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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