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When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation Hardcover – October 11, 2009

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199572106 ISBN-10: 0199572100 Edition: Har/DVD

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Editorial Reviews

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"James Fishkin is an impressive individual...Fishkin has done what (to my knowledge) no other democratic theorist has attempted, namely, to design his own democratic institution--the deliberative poll (DP)...The [accompanying DVD] offers an indispensable insight into how a DP works and will play a useful pedagogical function: It will enliven discussions on democratic innovations in the seminar room and also enlighten those many critics of Fishkin who clearly do not understand or appreciate the designs dynamics." --Perspectives on Politics


"After many years of perfecting the art of deliberative polling from his place as director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, Fishkin offers fresh evidence of the promise the model holds for democracy... Wonderful research; strongly recommended." --CHOICE


"It is a wonderful, rare mix of deep political theory and careful attention to the practical challenges to making democracy work." --Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia Professor of Politics


"Intriguing...a portrait of public opinion that is more thoughtful than top-of-the-head responses to pollster questions." --Walter Shapiro, PoliticsDaily.com


"James Fishkin has spearheaded an ambitious project to marry the modern science of opinion polling with the ideal of democratic discussion...When the People Speak is the latest formal enunciation of this new methodology. It's not Fishkin's first book on the topic but it is the most theoretically ambitious and comprehensive to date." --Lynn M. Sanders, Associate Professor of Politics, University of Virginia


"When the People Speak is both a heartfelt plea for a far more deliberative conception of political democracy and a rigorous analysis of what now constitute almost two decades of data amassed in the course of conducting what Fishkin terms "deliberative polls" all over the world. Fishkin is almost literally unique in combining the talents of a world-class political theorist with those of an equally first-rate social scientist...asking genuinely radical questions about our political order and, at the same time, suggesting what would be equally radical changes." --Sanford Levinson, Chair in Law and Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Our Undemocratic Constitution


"Since James Fishkin designed deliberative opinion polls almost two decades ago, they have been conducted around the world...This particular type of deliberative polling, reconceptualized most recently in When the People Speak, is likely the most effective institutional mechanism known to date for bringing to life the ideal of deliberative democracy." --Albena Azmanova, Director of Program in International Political Economy and Political Strategy and Communication, Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent


"The Deliberative Polls of James Fishkin represent today the gold standard of attempts to sample what a considered public opinion might be on issues of political importance."--Jane Mansbridge, Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


"James Fishkin is the unquestioned king of deliberative polls (DPs), a device whose reach is now very impressive indeed... Fishkin writes accessibly and with elegance... Arguments are persuasively crafted... Inspiring." --Sociology


About the Author


James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he teaches Communication and Political Science and Directs the Center for Deliberative Democracy. He is author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation, The Dialogue of Justice, The Voice of the People, and Deliberation Day (with Bruce Ackerman). His Deliberative Polling process has been conducted in countries ranging from China and Bulgaria to Denmark, Britain, Australia, Italy, Hungary, and the US.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Har/DVD edition (October 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199572100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199572106
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

James Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he teaches Communication and Political Science and Directs the Center for Deliberative Democracy. He is author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992 ), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995), Deliberation Day (with Bruce Ackerman, 2004). His Deliberative Polling process has been conducted in countries ranging from China and Bulgaria to Denmark, Britain, Australia, Italy, Hungary, and the US. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He has also been Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. He holds both a PhD in Political Science from Yale and a PhD in Philosophy from Cambridge.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cezar Busatto on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would like to suggest brasilians to read James Fishkin's When the People Speak, Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation, because I do believe this revolutionary practice of democracy is the right path to achieve sustainable public policies, responsible citizenship and a better world for all.
Deliberative democracy offers an opportunity for people getting complete and impartial information and making consistent decisions. I`ve had the opportunity to see a Deliberative Poll process taking place this year in the city of Porto Alegre, the capital of my Home State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.
A representative sample of about three hundred of fellow citizens in a room were amazingly engaged to get better informed and deliberate about several complex questions related to civil servants careers.
The results were effective in a double way: they helped to define state government's public policy and contributed to shape public opinion on the matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mary Snider on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James S. Fishkin, as a political theorist and reformer, explores the democratic ideals of Political Equality and Deliberation in making what he calls considered decisions. The book, When the People Speak, reads like an expanded outline. His arguments present many sides of the issues and how they can be addressed. A glossary of terms and phrases would have been helpful.
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By Sam on March 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Currently conducting research for a lit review; this book was cited in many pieces of lit I've completed. Excellent read, & used relevant and somewhat recent examples. Chapters are a little long but other than no complaints. If you are seeking lit that explains the fundamentals of civic engagement & public participation this is a great resource for your collection.
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Great research help for work I am doing in the field. Also, I followed up on citations and found more valuable insight. I was introduced to Professor Fishkin of Stanford Center of Deliberative Democracy and found volumes of additional information.
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