The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Mar 30th
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Reports and other resources produced by DDC members through its task groups, research grants, and learning conferences.

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This is a collaborative document about public deliberation. It was created in a way appropriate to its subject matter. It does not have named authors because it emerged from interviews, face-to-face discussions, and a mode of collaboration called a “wiki” (in which many people edit one document online). We do not have a precise count of the contributors, some of whom were anonymous, but the number certainly exceeds 35. The whole process was organized by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) and supported by the Charles Kettering Foundation, which is a DDC member.The purpose of this report is to derive lessons from more than four years of discussions and research projects. In 2003, the DDCDDCDDC convened leading researchers and practitioners at a meeting on public deliberation. The goal of the meeting was to improve collaboration between the two communities and to advance the field of public deliberation by building knowledge. At this meeting and two subsequent face-to-face conferences (2005 and 2007), researchers and practitioners formed a network and undertook several key activities: to identify important unanswered questions about public deliberation, to rank these questions in importance, to develop joint projects that would contribute answers, and to report back on their research findings.
Report to the Deliberative Democracy Consortium by Peter Muhlberger.
A White Paper from the Local Democracy Collaborative by Jim Diers, Matt Leighninger, Paul Leistner, Valerie Lemmie, Ken Thomson, and Hank Topper, 3/16/11.
An outline of key aims and activities of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium over the next 5 years.
Daniel Schugurensky of the Participatory Governance Initiative at Arizona State interviewed Elliot Shuford, who directs the Oregon Citizens' Initiative Review.
A model public participation ordinance for local governments.
Model state legislation to support stronger public participation.


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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