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Is Deliberative Democracy a Falsifiable Theory?

Posted: 6 Jun 2008  

Diana C. Mutz

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Political Science

Abstract

To further dialogue between theory and research on deliberative democracy, I advocate abandoning tests of deliberative theory per se and instead developing "middle-range" theories that are each important, specifiable, and falsifiable parts of deliberative democratic theory. By replacing vaguely defined entities with more concrete, circumscribed concepts, and by requiring empirically and theoretically grounded hypotheses about specific relationships between those concepts, researchers may come to understand which elements of the deliberative experience are crucial to particular valued outcomes.

Keywords: deliberation, empirical research, middle-range theory

Suggested Citation

Mutz, Diana C., Is Deliberative Democracy a Falsifiable Theory?. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 11, June 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141500

Diana C. Mutz (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stiteler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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