Political Communication and Deliberation
- John Gastil - University of Washington, USA
"Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic." —Martín Carcasson, Colorado State University
The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. It aims to arrive at a decision or judgment based not only on facts and data but also on values, emotions, and other less technical considerations. Though a solitary individual can deliberate, it more commonly means making decisions together, as a small group, an organization, or a nation. Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication.
Companion Web site!
A dedicated Web site at http://ideliberate.la.psu.edu/ inventories everything that might be useful for instructors using Political Communication and Deliberation in their courses. Syllabi suggestions show how to use the book when teaching on a semester - or a quarter-long course, as well as a set of classroom exercises and larger projects that have been used in previous courses. Also, a wiki and forum let instructors exchange teaching ideas, links, and new content to supplement each chapter.
"Political Communication and Deliberation is a groundbreaking volume. It advances our theorizing about deliberation, analyzes deliberative practices in a wide range of venues, and offers prescriptions for improving our democracy."
"In this remarkable book, Gastil shows how the concept of deliberation can be used to understand and evaluate the functioning of diverse political institutions, from elections to the media. With a superb command of diverse literatures, along with his characteristic good sense and wit, Gastil makes clear just how important talk is to a democratic society. Chock full of novel insights into political dynamics that we often take for granted, Political Communication and Deliberation will be of interest to both fledgling and seasoned students of politics."
"Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic."
"Political Communication and Deliberation is a thorough, thoughtful, readable, accessible, and smart book. Gastil's analyses and cases will surely spark deliberation. It is a gift to citizens, students, scholarly inquiry and the future of our democratic system."
"The book works well as a textbook, a research summary that identifies where scholars can usefully devote their attention, and an inspiration to concerned citizens looking for realistic ways to improve democracy. Unusual in a work at the highest scholarly standards, there are even flashes of refreshing humor."
The course was canceled at the last minute in fall 2014. However, I plan to use the book when I teach the course in 2016.
Elements of this book are great, but the focus on deliberation didn't fit the survey nature of the course.