Civil Discourse and Deliberative Democracy

National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). Research Reports.

NICD has sponsored several research reports including What is Political Incivility? by Robin Stryker; Online and Uncivil? Patterns and Determinants of Incivility in Newspaper Website Comments by Kevin Coe, Kate Kenski, & Stephen A. Rains; and Patterns and Determinants of Civility in Online Discussions by Kate Kenski, Kevin Coe, and Steve Rains. These research reports can be downloaded from NICD here.

National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). Research Briefs.

Since 2012, NICD, a program of the University of Arizona's School of Government and Public Policy has produced a series of research briefs, edited by Dr. Robin Stryker, on a number of issues related to civil discourse, including Civil Discourse Online, Classical Rhetoric, Contemporary Science and Modern Civil Discourse, Deliberative Democracy and Civil Discourse, Deliberative Practice and Its Impact on Individuals and Society, Media and Politics, Negative Campaigning,New Media Use and Civi Engagement, Political Knowledge Persuasion and Campaign Rhetoric, and Political Polarization. You may download these research briefs from NICD here.

Massaro, Toni M., and Robin Stryker. “Freedom of speech, liberal democracy, and emerging evidence on civility and effective democratic engagement.” Ariz. L. Rev. 54 (2012): 375.

Abstract: On January 8, 2011, a mentally disturbed man opened fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at her “Congress on Your Corner” event. Six people died and several others, including the Congresswoman, were seriously wounded. In the aftermath of the tragedy, a renewed call to more civil political discourse arose, followed immediately by strenuous objections to this call on constitutional, political, and practical grounds. In this Article, we address these objections and conclude that none is sufficiently compelling to derail a civil political-discourse project. We argue that the more important issues are whether, and how, incivility in political discourse poses a problem for democracy...  To download this paper through NICD, click here.

Lukensmeyer, Carolyn J., Joe Goldman, and David Stern. "Assessing public participation in an open government era." IBM Center for the Business of Government (2011).
Abstract: Barack Obama began his presidency with an unprecedented commitment to make the United States government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. While the White House and federal agencies have taken significant steps to honor this commitment, insufficient research has been undertaken to understand what agencies are doing to provide the public with a greater voice in the governance process and to measure agency actions against standards of quality participation. With this report, The IBM Center for The Business of Government and AmericaSpeaks begin a conversation about public participation and what a participatory federal government should look like in this new era of open government. To download this report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, click here.
Lukensmeyer, Carolyn J., and Steve Brigham. "Taking Democracy to Scale: Creating a Town Hall Meeting for the Twenty‐First Century." National Civic Review 91, no. 4 (2002): 351-366.
Abstract: Over the last decade we have watched democracy surge and ebb around the world. With its firm commitment to strengthening democratic movements,
the United States has encouraged, directly assisted in, and even led many democratization efforts. Yet to maintain a credible leadership role, we must acknowledge that our own democracy has much room for improvement. A healthy democracy depends on the ability of citizens1 to affect the public policies that deeply influence their lives, and ours does not currently allow citizens their rightful voice in decision making. Special-interest groups have captured the processes for democratic input. They have skewed the agenda towardextreme positions and alienated many citizens who would tend toward a middle ground... To download through ResearchGate, click here.