Jury service as an invitation to citizenship: Assessing the civic value of institutionalized deliberation

John Gastil, Phillip J. Weiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

When considering the merits of deliberative democracy, it is important to look into the experience of the American jury system. The jury has demonstrated the potential for citizen deliberation to play a central role in longstanding governmental institutions, but it has also played an unrecognized role in promoting civic engagement. Building on previous research demonstrating how jury service spurs increased electoral participation after jury service, we present results from a three-wave panel survey that show that a subjectively rewarding jury experience can spur broader civic engagement beyond voting. Given the value of the jury as both a model of deliberation and an engine of civic spirit, we consider the potential value of creating citizen juries to improve the initiative process, which currently lacks the citizen deliberation that is essential for any effective direct democratic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-627
Number of pages23
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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