Testing assumptions in deliberative democratic design: A preliminary assessment of the efficacy of the participedia data archive as an analytic tool

John Gastil, Robert C. Richards, Matt Ryan, Graham Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

At smaller social scales, deliberative democratic theory can be restated as an input-process-output model. We advance such a model to formulate hypotheses about how the context and design of a civic engagement process shape the deliberation that takes place therein, as well as the impact of the deliberation on participants and subsequent policymaking. To test those claims, we extract and code case studies from Participedia.net, a research platform that has adopted a self-directed crowd-sourcing strategy to collect data on participatory institutions and deliberative interventions around the world. We explain and confront the challenges faced in coding and analyzing the Participedia cases, which involves managing reliability issues and missing data. In spite of those difficulties, regression analysis of the coded cases shows compelling results, which provide considerable support for our general theoretical model. We conclude with reflections on the implications of our findings for deliberative theory, the design of democratic innovations, and the utility of Participedia as a data archive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalJournal of Public Deliberation
Volume13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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