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CAS 509 Democratic Deliberation

Modern political systems are as likely to move further away from deliberative ideals as toward them, and such movement can undermine a system¿s democratic legitimacy. This problem has inspired the development of deliberative democratic theory and research, which provides a powerful critique of contemporary politics. The study of deliberation dates back to ancient Greece, which gave us forms of speech that endure to the present day. Current conceptions stress public deliberation and dialogue's potential to ameliorate social and political problems, including polarization and incivility, and to generate more robust and reflective public policy solutions to complex problems. These ideas fold into grander theories of deliberative democracy, which considers how everything from cultural practices to large-scale institutions feed into the overall system of public discourse in a society. Students will review philosophical and interpretive works, as well as empirical research on deliberation utilizing case studies, surveys, and experiments. This seminar also helps students plan and execute their own contributions to this growing body of scholarship.

Professor: John Gastil
Email: jgastil@psu.edu