This weekend, James S. Fishkin, Professor of Communication and Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy, will conduct a Deliberative Poll® in Michigan. A scientific sample of 200+ people will convene in Lansing to deliberate about the state’s economic future, and in the end, the poll will reveal what the public thinks about these issues, both before and after it has had a chance to become informed.
Fishkin’s most recent book, When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation, explains this method of polling. It combines a new theory of democracy with actual practice, and has demonstrated how an idea that harks back to ancient Athens can be used to revive modern democracies. Fishkin and his collaborators have already conducted deliberative democracy projects in the United States, China, Britain, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, and in the entire European Union. These projects have resulted in the massive expansion of wind power in Texas, the building of sewage treatment plants in China, and greater mutual understanding between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
When the People Speak is accompanied by a DVD of “Europe in One Room” by Emmy Award-winning documentary makers Paladin Invision. The film recounts one of the most challenging deliberative democracy efforts with a scientific sample from 27 countries speaking 21 languages. Watch the trailer after the jump.
EUROPE IN ONE ROOM
Courtesy of the Center for Deliberative Democracy