Acta Politica

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 212–224

The Empirical Study of Deliberative Democracy: Setting a Research Agenda


  • Shawn Rosenberg
    • University of California
Part I: A Systemic View of Deliberation

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500105

Cite this article as:
Rosenberg, S. Acta Polit (2005) 40: 212. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500105


Deliberative democracy has emerged as a leading concern of political theory and its principles have guided over a 1,000 experiments in citizen participation in local governance. Despite its importance, very little systematic empirical research has been conducted. Here an attempt is made to enumerate the key questions that should guide empirical research on the deliberative capacities of ordinary citizens, the qualities of the deliberative processes in which they participate and the effects of deliberation on collective outcomes and on individual participants. The paper closes with a discussion of the likely results of this research and their implications for a possible reconstruction of the theory and practice of deliberative democracy.


deliberationdemocracypolitical psychologyparticipation

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2005