Political Communication and Deliberation

John Gastil

Published by SAGE Publications, Inc, 2008
ISBN 10: 1412916275 / ISBN 13: 9781412916271
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"Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic." ―Martín Carcasson, Colorado State University


The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. It aims to arrive at a decision or judgment based not only on facts and data but also on values, emotions, and other less technical considerations. Though a solitary individual can deliberate, it more commonly means making decisions together, as a small group, an organization, or a nation. Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication.

Companion Web site!
A dedicated Web site at http://ideliberate.la.psu.edu/ inventories everything that might be useful for instructors using Political Communication and Deliberation in their courses. Syllabi suggestions show how to use the book when teaching on a semester - or a quarter-long course, as well as a set of classroom exercises and larger projects that have been used in previous courses. Also, a wiki and forum let instructors exchange teaching ideas, links, and new content to supplement each chapter.

About the Author:

John Gastil is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, where he specializes in political deliberation and group decision making. Prior to joining the University of Washington in 1998, Gastil received his communication Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and worked for three years at the University of New Mexico Institute for Public Policy.

In 1993, Gastil published Democracy in Small Groups (New Society Publishers), and he continued to explore democracy and deliberation at many levels of analysis in By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative Elections (University of California, 2000), The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Peter Levine, Jossey-Bass, 2005), and Political Communication and Deliberation (Sage, 2008).

The National Science Foundation has supported three large-scale research programs in which Gastil has served as a principal investigator. The Jury and Democracy Project rediscovered the jury system as a valuable civic educational institution. Gastil has also contributed to the Cultural Cognition Project, which explores the cultural underpinnings of attitudes toward various public policy issues. Most recently, Gastil has worked with Australian colleagues to study the flow of ideas and arguments through the Citizens’ Parliament held in Canberra in 2009.

Gastil’s scholarly articles from these and other projects have appeared in Adult Education Quarterly, Communication Theory, Harvard Law Review, Human Communication Research, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Communication, Journal of Public Deliberation, Political Communication, Small Group Research, and other academic journals.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Political Communication and Deliberation
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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