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John Gastil

Professor, Communication Arts & Sciences and Political Science

Senior Scholar, the McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Pennsylvania State University

240H Sparks Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-5574

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. B.A., Swarthmore College, 1989
  2. M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991
  3. Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994


John Gastil studies political deliberation and group decision making across a range of contexts. His work on the Citizens’ Initiative Review has helped evaluate an exciting new form of public deliberation that should improve initiative elections. His Jury and Democracy Project has investigated, and hopefully helped vindicate, the jury system as a valuable civic educational institution. His work with the Cultural Cognition Project in demonstrating the ways in which our deeper values bias how we learn about issues and form opinions. Professor Gastil has integrated some of the best research in his primary fields of study in two books. Political Communication and Deliberation uses the idea of public deliberation as a way to organize the wider study of political communication, and The Group in Society presents an Embedded System Framework for integrating research on group communication and behavior. He teaches courses on Democratic Deliberation (CAS/PL SC 409) and Group Communication (CAS 250).