The Australian Citizens’ Parliament and the Future of Deliberative Democracy

Penn State Press
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Growing numbers of scholars, practitioners, politicians, and citizens recognize the value of deliberative civic engagement processes that enable citizens and governments to come together in public spaces and engage in constructive dialogue, informed discussion, and decisive deliberation. This book seeks to fill a gap in empirical studies in deliberative democracy by studying the assembly of the Australian Citizens’ Parliament (ACP), which took place in Canberra on February 6–8, 2009. The ACP addressed the question “How can the Australian political system be strengthened to serve us better?”

The ACP’s Canberra assembly is the first large-scale, face-to-face deliberative project to be completely audio-recorded and transcribed, enabling an unprecedented level of qualitative and quantitative assessment of participants’ actual spoken discourse. Each chapter reports on different research questions for different purposes to benefit different audiences. Combined, they exhibit how diverse modes of research focused on a single event can enhance both theoretical and practical knowledge about deliberative democracy.

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About the author

Lyn Carson is Professor in the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney Business School and a co-initiator of the Australian Citizens’ Parliament.

John Gastil is Professor and Head of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University.

Janette Hartz-Karp is Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute.

Ron Lubensky is a doctoral candidate at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penn State Press
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Published on
Sep 16, 2013
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780271069074
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Communication Studies
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
Political Science / Civics & Citizenship
Political Science / Civil Rights
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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John Gastil

"Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic." —Martín Carcasson, Colorado State University


The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. It aims to arrive at a decision or judgment based not only on facts and data but also on values, emotions, and other less technical considerations. Though a solitary individual can deliberate, it more commonly means making decisions together, as a small group, an organization, or a nation. Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication.

Companion Web site!
A dedicated Web site at http://ideliberate.la.psu.edu/ inventories everything that might be useful for instructors using Political Communication and Deliberation in their courses. Syllabi suggestions show how to use the book when teaching on a semester - or a quarter-long course, as well as a set of classroom exercises and larger projects that have been used in previous courses. Also, a wiki and forum let instructors exchange teaching ideas, links, and new content to supplement each chapter.
John Gastil
The Group in Society meets the challenges of teaching courses on small groups by revealing the full complexity of small groups and their place in society. It shows students the value of learning how to carefully study a group's history and context, rather than merely learning a fixed set of group participation skills. This text brings together disparate theories and research (from communication, social psychology, organizational and managerial studies, and sociology) in a way that helps students make sense of a complex body of scholarship on groups.

Features & Benefits
Part I – Theorizing Groups: builds a strong theoretical foundation, exploring social theory and the group, forming and joining groups, the life and death of the group, and changing society through group life Part II – Understanding Groups in Context: explores the histories, purposes, memberships of a variety of groups—including juries, families, executive committees, study groups, and political action groups—thus enabling the student reader to speak clearly about group formation, norms, roles, tasks, and relationships. Detailed end-of-chapter case studies explicitly connect with the concepts, theories, and empirical findings introduced in each respective chapter; examples include the powerful group bonds of the modern terrorist cell; the wired network of groups in the anti-Globalization movement; and the deliberation of a jury in a murder trial

Teaching & Learning Ancillaries

Teaching resources are available at http://groupinsociety.la.psu.edu/ and include chapter summaries, discussion questions, and practical applications; a sample course schedule; Embedded Systems Framework PowerPoint slides; group project assignments, group project worksheets, and a group project description and contract; and links to useful Web resources such as small group teaching resources and active wikis on small groups. An open-access student study site at www.sagepub.com/gastilstudy features e-flashcards, practice quizzes, and other resources to help students enhance their comprehension and improve their grade.
Tina Nabatchi
John Gastil
The Group in Society meets the challenges of teaching courses on small groups by revealing the full complexity of small groups and their place in society. It shows students the value of learning how to carefully study a group's history and context, rather than merely learning a fixed set of group participation skills. This text brings together disparate theories and research (from communication, social psychology, organizational and managerial studies, and sociology) in a way that helps students make sense of a complex body of scholarship on groups.

Features & Benefits
Part I – Theorizing Groups: builds a strong theoretical foundation, exploring social theory and the group, forming and joining groups, the life and death of the group, and changing society through group life Part II – Understanding Groups in Context: explores the histories, purposes, memberships of a variety of groups—including juries, families, executive committees, study groups, and political action groups—thus enabling the student reader to speak clearly about group formation, norms, roles, tasks, and relationships. Detailed end-of-chapter case studies explicitly connect with the concepts, theories, and empirical findings introduced in each respective chapter; examples include the powerful group bonds of the modern terrorist cell; the wired network of groups in the anti-Globalization movement; and the deliberation of a jury in a murder trial

Teaching & Learning Ancillaries

Teaching resources are available at http://groupinsociety.la.psu.edu/ and include chapter summaries, discussion questions, and practical applications; a sample course schedule; Embedded Systems Framework PowerPoint slides; group project assignments, group project worksheets, and a group project description and contract; and links to useful Web resources such as small group teaching resources and active wikis on small groups. An open-access student study site at www.sagepub.com/gastilstudy features e-flashcards, practice quizzes, and other resources to help students enhance their comprehension and improve their grade.
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