When Citizens and Officeholders Meet Part 1: Variations in the Key Elements of Public Meetings

The International Journal of Public Participation: Volume I, Issue 2 December 2007

17 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016

See all articles by John Gastil

John Gastil

Pennsylvania State University

Todd Kelshaw

Montclair State University

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

In recent years, thinking among public administrators and civic leaders has shifted from reliance on hierarchy and control in policymaking to a desire for collaboration and empowerment. With this shift have come new calls from civic reformers and public-minded officials for public participation in governance. This emphasis on participation by members of the public has necessitated the creation of novel venues for citizens and officeholders to meet. But do both lay and professional participants have the communicative attitudes and aptitudes conducive to effective collaboration in these new public meetings? In order to answer this question, we need first to take a look at public meetings in general. Here we develop a framework for examining the connections between key elements of such meetings, including goals, communication strategies, and task and relational outcomes. This essay, the first in a two-part series, provides a conceptual grounding that will facilitate the development of a typology of public meetings.

Keywords: deliberation, public meetings, communication, public participation, variations in public meetings, democratic participation, democratic deliberation

Suggested Citation

Gastil, John and Kelshaw, Todd, When Citizens and Officeholders Meet Part 1: Variations in the Key Elements of Public Meetings (December 2007). The International Journal of Public Participation: Volume I, Issue 2 December 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2735503

John Gastil (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Todd Kelshaw

Montclair State University ( email )

Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
United States

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