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Can Online Deliberation Improve Politics? Scientific Foundations for Success

14 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008  

Arthur Lupia

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Abstract

Interest in deliberative democracy grows. Its appeal is understandable. Deliberation, with its emphasis on distributed speech rights and information exchange, has the potential to increase the quality and quantity of political interest and participation (Habermas 1996).

While the benefits of deliberative democracy are easy to imagine, they can be hard to achieve. Like any form of civic education, the success of a deliberative endeavor depends on choices made by its designers. For a deliberative endeavor to increase participation, or affect how a target audience thinks about an important political matter, its informational content must, at a minimum,
* attract the audience's attention and hold it for a non-trivial amount of time,
* affect the audience's memories in particular ways (not any change will do), and
* cause them to retain subsequent beliefs - or choose different behaviors - than they would have had without deliberation (Lupia 2002).

Suggested Citation

Lupia, Arthur, Can Online Deliberation Improve Politics? Scientific Foundations for Success. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1154649

Arthur Lupia (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-647-7549 (Phone)
734-764-3341 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.umich.edu/~lupia

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