An Agent-Based Model of Deliberative Democracy and Polarization
29 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 9, 2020
In this paper, we examined the effect of deliberative democracy on polarization of opinion. Through three cases analyses, we find that deliberative democracy has two major components – provision of information and group discussion. Polarization of opinion can be explained by several theories: social identity theory (Tajfel, 1978), social comparison (Isenberg, 1986), and confirmation bias (Kahneman, 2012). We constructed a deliberative democracy model that reflected these mechanisms of polarization. We found that deliberative democracy actually decreased polarization of opinion when group discussion was a strong factor. Our study provides guidelines for institutional design incorporating deliberative democracy, with emphasis on composition of unbiased group discussions.
Keywords: deliberative democracy, polarization, social identity theory, social comparison, conformation bias, group discussion
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