PARTICIPATORY POLICYMAKING ACROSS CULTURAL COGNITIVE DIVIDES: TWO TESTS OF CULTURAL BIASING IN PUBLIC FORUM DESIGN AND DELIBERATION

John Gastil, Katherine R. Knobloch, Dan Kahan, Don Braman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deliberative theorists posit that highly structured face-to-face policy discussions can transcend ideological differences. By contrast, cultural cognitive theorists argue that people's cultural orientations constrain policy-relevant information processing and forestall the public's ability to reach consensus. Two studies examine whether deliberative processes can span divergent cultural orientations. The first assesses a prominent deliberative forum programme's capacity to frame policy solutions across the quadrants of a two-dimensional cultural grid. The second study examines whether deliberation generates policy recommendations that transcend biases to yield cross-cultural agreement. Results show that public deliberation can encompass multiple cultural orientations and encourage participants to look beyond their biases to discover common ground. When it comes to framing and implementing deliberative public forums, cultural orientations appear to be surmountable obstacles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-987
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Administration
Volume94
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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